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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by 

in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of 

New York . 


THE following Lectures were delivered to the First Congrega- 
tional Society in Norwalk, Conn., in the latter part of A. D. 1843, 
and early in 1844. They are designed to set forth the causes which 
brought the PILGRIMS to these shores ; to exhibit their PRINCI- 
PLES ; to show what these principles are worth, and what it cost 
to maintain them ; to vindicate the character of the Puritans from 
the aspersions which have been cast upon them, and to show the 
the Prelatic, broadly and solidly based on the Word of God ; 
inseparable from religious Purity and religious Freedom ; and of 
immense permanent importance to the best interests of mankind. 

In accomplishing this design, the author found it necessary 
to enter, to some extent and with some minuteness, upon the 
HISTORY of the Puritans and of their times ; to trace their pro- 
gress from the discovery of one important principle to another ; 
to exhibit them in their sufferings ; and to trace the Pilgrims in 
their wanderings, to their landing upon these then desolate 
shores. The matter of CHURCH POLITY the author has attempted 
to discuss in its fundamental principles as well as in its particular 
details. The claims of PRELACY he has endeavored to subject to 
the test of Reason, of History, and of the Word of God. 

In the whole, the author has endeavored to bring together mat- 
ters of information of which no descendant of the Puritans 
should ever be ignorant, and of which an adequate knowledge 
can scarcely be attained at present, without an expenditure for 
books, and a labor of research, beyond the means and leisure of 
most people in the ordinary walks of life. 

J ANUARY ,1846. ^ g 




Importance of this discussion at the present day. Misconceptions 
concerning the Puritans. Views of Hume. Principles not to be 
measured by the occasion which calls them into debate. Princi- 
ples of the Puritans not to be appreciated without some know- 
ledge of their times. Plan of this work. England before the times 
ofWickliffe, . \ . . *-. . . .15 



His early life, and writings. Negotiation with Rome. His Prin- 
ciples : Contrast these and modern Puseyism. Persecution of his 
followers for a succeeding century, . . . .25 


The King and Martin Luther. He assumes the supremacy of the 
Church. The King's Bible. Articles. " Institution of a Christian 
man." " Erudition of a Christian man." Only two orders of the 
ministry recognized as of Divine right, in the days of Henry, or 
in the succeeding age. Evidence collected by Stillingfleet. The 
bloody statute. Bible forbidden. Estimate of the Reformation 
under Henry, ........ 38 




Persecutions stopped. Doctrinal disputes revived. Book of Homi- 
lies. First service book : revised : never satisfactory to the Re- 
formers. Supposed necessity of forming such a liturgy as to keep 
the Popish people in the Church. Discrepancy between the Arti- 
cles and Offices. Prayer-Book an equivocal standard: fairly 
quoted by each of two irreconcileable schemes. The question 
of a Liturgy. No right anywhere to impose one. Imposed not 
by the Church, but by Parliament and Council. Uniformity en- 
forced. Reforming the Ordinal. Rise of the Puritans, - . 53 



Her Duplicity. Restoration of Popery. Re-ordination of Clergy- 
men ordained by King Edward's Book. Kingdom reconciled to 
the Pope. Burning of the Reformers. A Puritan Church discov- 
ered : its officers burned. Exiles at Frankfort, . . .67 



Reformation conducted on principles of State policy. Papists to 
be kept in the Church. High Commission. Things offensive to 
Papists stricken out of the Liturgy. Plan of keeping Papists in 
the Church successful. Foresight of the Puritans. Their pre- 
dictions verified. Original complaints of the Puritans. Progress 
of their inquiries, ....... 77 


Ultimate scope of Puritanic principles. Means employed to extermi- 
nate them. Their rapid spread : nearly prevail in Convocation. 
The Puritans ask only liberty of conscience. Not a struggle for 
political power. Remonstrances of the Puritans. The separation 
begins. Persecutions. The nation roused, . . .91 





New Canons. Supplication to Parliament. Cartwright and Whit- 
gift. Private press. New persecuting act. Brown and the 
Brownists. Supplication of the Deprived Ministers. Whitgift's 
inquisitorial articles. Martin Mar-Prelate. Act against separate 
Worship. Sufferings of the Puritans. Their touching narra- 
tive. Roger Ripon. Barrowe. Greenwood. Penry, . .106 



The design and principles of his Ecclesiastical Polity. Its control- 
ling influence over the dynasty of the Stuarts. These principles 
examined. His doctrine. His notion of the powers of orders, . 124 



Change of James' Principles on his accession to the English throne. 
Hampton Court Conference. Hundred and forty-one Canons. 
Extra-judicial decision of the twelve Judges. Gathering of the 
Pilgrim Church. Flight to Holland, . . . .141 



Question of a removal. Meeting for deliberation. Guiana. Ap- 
plication to the King. The arrangements. Farewell meeting. 
Parting at .Delft-Haven. The Departure. The Mayflower upon 
the Ocean. The compact. Provincetown harbor. Landing at 
Plymouth, . . . . . . .153 


Apparent designs of Providence. Contrast between Popery in South 
America and Protestantism in the North. The fruits of Puritanism* 
in New England. Sufferings of the Pilgrims. The first harvest. 


The first Thanksgiving. New settlers. Famine. Day of Fasting. 
Return of Plenty, . . . . . . .166 



Vacillating and Irritating Policy of James. Sycophantic bearing of 
the Bishops. Passive Obedience and Non-Resistance. Attempts 
of James to establish Episcopacy in Scotland. Assembly of 
Perth. Change in the King's Theology. Original Calvinism of 
the English Church. Lambeth Articles. Book of Sports. Perfidy 
of James, ........ 174 



Reaching for a union of Churchmen and Papists. Charles his 
High-Church and High-Prerogative notions. Strafford. Laud. 
Huguenots of Rochelle. Book of the King's Chaplain. King and 
Commons appeal to the people. Illegal exactions. The Church 
Clergy side with tyranny. Overthrow of the Constitution. Cruel- 
ties of Laud, . . . .187 



King and Prelates combine against the liberties of the People. 
Popish ceremonies and utensils. Images, pictures of God, the 
Father. Communion tables turned into altars. Natural tendency 
of prelatic principles to corruption and persecution. Their fruit 
on a broad scale, and for a thousand years. Original idea of " A 
Church without a Bishop, a State without a king," . . 203 



Plymouth a few years after its settlement. Plantation at Cape Ann. 

Naumkeag. Charlestown. Fleet and Colony of 1629. Tolerant 

~> spirit of the Colonists. Salem Church. The Fleet and Colony of 

1630. Rapid emigration. Planting of the New England Churches, 216 




Charles a martyr to his own insincerity and crimes. Attempts to 
impose a Liturgy upon Scotland. Uproar in St. Giles'. Solemn 
League and Covenant. The Episcopal War. Charles forced to 
call a Parliament. Laud impeached. Divine right of Episco- 
pacy discussed. Smectymnuus. Irish Massacre. Appeal to 
Arms, ........ 229 



Bishop of Connecticut on the Rule of Faith. " The Scriptures as in- 
terpreted by the first two centuries." Dr. Jarvis extends it to five 
centuries ; others to seven ; to nine ; to eighteen. Who to fix 
the limit ? Who to declare the interpretation ? Absurdity of the 
rule. No stable ground between Puritanism and Popery. The 
Prayer-Book as the interpretation of an interpretation. Impos- 
sible to fix the standard of the first two centuries. Episcopalians, 
on their principles, bound to fix the canons of the Fathers, and 
to give them to the people. Doctrine of the Bishop of Connec- 
ticut contrasted with the doctrine of the Scriptures. The Bible 
alone the religion of Protestants, ..... 244 



Illustrated by the Doctrines of Holy Alliance. Enormities in prac- 
tice. Necessarily a system of usurpation and persecution. IJIa^^..^ 
tural rights of Christian congregations. Plea of uniformity. The 
question not of the expediency of a Liturgy, but of the right to 
impose one. Canons of American Episcopacy. Limits of Church 
power, ........ \258 



Examination of the grounds on which the Puritan Churches are 
charged as schismatical. The Prelatical Doctrine of Schism test- 
ed by Scripture. Singular scheme for restoring a visible Unity. 
Scriptural view of Schism, , . . . . . 270 





The Church invisible; partly on earth, partly in heaven. The 
Church on earth, composed of all Christ's people, in all com- 
munions ; its members known onry to God. The Church as com- 
posed of visible organizations. No National, Provincial, or Dio- 
cesan organization or authority, recognized in the New Testa- 
ment. Slater's argument concerning the Churches of Antioch 
and Jerusalem, answered by Scripture, .... 281 


Scriptural authority. The arrangements of Prelacy contrary to 
Scripture, ........ 289 


Observation of distinguished Civilians. Inseparable connection be- 
tween doctrine and the genius of government. Prelacy incom- 
patible with Christ's injunctions. Claim of Bishops to be irre- 
sponsible sovereigns. Republican principles recognized by the 
Apostles. Popular elections. Mistake with regard to the word 
Ordain, . .299 



Extraordinary functions. Men called to a special work Evan- 
gelists. Deacons. Bishops. Presbyters, or Pastors. Singular 
error of the Prayer-Book. Apostles; their office; requisite en- 
dowments, ..... 308 



Argument from the name. Epaphroditus, Andronicns, Junia. Ar- 
gument from the powers exercised. Bishop Onderdonk's argu- 
ment examined. Laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, . 315 




Timothy not Diocesan of Ephesus. The Angels of the Churches 
were no Diocesan Bishops. No change of official designation 
from t Apostle to Bishop, ...... 326 




High Priests. Priests and Levites. Three Orders. The Apostolic 
Commission. Claims of Diocesans to be Vicegerents of Jesus 
Christ, . . . . . . .350 







Ordination. Headship of the Church. Episcopacy and Republi- 
canism. Episcopacy in the American Revolution. Reproaches 
against the Puritans. The tables turned. Comparative tenden- 
cies of Puritanism and Prelacy. Conclusion, . . . . 391 

APPENDIX, ....... .421 



Importance of this discussion at the present day. Misconceptions con- 
cerning the Puritans. Views of Hume. Principles not to be measured 
by the occasion which calls them into debate. Principles of the Puri- 
tans not to be appreciated without some knowledge of their times. 
Plan of this work. England before the times of WicklifFe. 

portance of those Principles to Freedom, to true Religion^ to 
the present and the eternal interests of Mankind ! To those who 
dwell amid the graves of a Puritan ancestry, these are subjects 
which can never be devoid of interest. Nor can I feelbelieving 
as I do that to the principles and labors of these ancestors, under 
God, we owe our dearest privileges that the memory of such 
fathers ought ever to go to decay among their children. I would 
that no one of our sons or daughters might ever be able to visit our 
ancient burying grounds, without feeling the blood of the Puritans 
coursing through their veins with honest exultation ; and their 
souls rising to God with heartfelt gratitude for the heritage be- 
stowed upon them, through the faith and toils of such an ancestry. 

Such a discussion is the more important at the present day, 
when so many seem scarcely to know what freedom is ; and so 
many more seem not to know ivhat freedom cost ; and still more, 
as if unconscious of the principles from which freedom sprung, 
are ready to think lightly of the motives and wisdom of that 
noble race of men, by whom, amid so many perils, the civil and 
religious rights of mankind were so nobly asserted and 

There is further occasion for such a discussion at the present 
day, when the character of the Puritans is, in certain quarters, so 
studiously misrepresented, and their principles so perseveringly 
assailed ; while a system of doctrine, in all essential respects 
identical with that of Popery, is so fast rising and spreading in 
certain quarters of the Protestant world ; and while the system of 
Prelacy which, for a thousand years, and on so broad a scale, 
has proved itself so uncongenial to the pure Gospel and to reli- 



gious freedom, is now putting forth its claims with unwonted 
boldness, and in the most exclusive and supercilious form ; de- 
nouncing us and our Puritan Fathers as rebels and schismatics ; 
our churches as no churches ; our ministers as sons of Korah 
Dathan and Abiram ; and all people who do not submit to some 
Prelatical Hierarchy, as out of the pale of Gospel grace, and 
given over, like heathen, to the uncovenanted mercies of God. 

The principles of our fathers are the principles of truth and 
freedom : as important now as they were in the days of primi- 
tive Puritanism. They are to be maintained, if either reli- 
gious truth or religious freedom is worthy to be maintained 
among men. The conflicts of principle at the present day are 
simply the old conflicts revived. He who would find the matters 
now in debate, most fully set forth, and most amply as well as 
most ably discussed, has only to review the productions of those 
ancient times. The system now known as OXFORDISM, or Pu- 
SEYISM, -which many advocates of Prelacy affect to regard as one 
no new thing : it is nothing more nor less than that compound of 
Arminianism and Popery into which the English Church was 
fast declining in the days of " the judicious Hooker ;" which had 
attained its maturity, and begun to develope its fruits under the 
auspices of the persecuting Laud ; and which was again rife and 
rampant in the days of Queen Anne and George I. It is indeed 
the genuine Episcopacy of the English Church in its palmiest 
days, as finally fixed and established under Queen Elizabeth ; 
and thereunto agree the Offices, though not the Articles of the 
English Establishment. If there is any difference between the 
system of those days and modern Puseyism, it is not in fun- 
damental principles, but mainly in the more eager reaching forth 
of Puseyism towards Rome ; and in the more loving tones of 
endearment, in which its advocates hail as a true Sister, and 
even as a Mother, that " MYSTERY OF BABYLON THE GREAT," 
which the early British Reformers, as well as the Puritans and 
the Bible, abhorred as the " MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINA- 

Some have conceived of the old Puritans as ignorant, turbu- 
lent, bigoted fanatics. Others have conceived of them as men 
of lofty attachment to principle, but of narrow and intolerant 
views : men of truth and daring ; men who feared God, and 
who had tasted deeply of the powers of the world to come, 
but unsocial, all made up of sternness and gloom ; men whose 
austere minds were never unbent in hilarity, and whose counte- 
nances were never lighted up by a smile. Those who thus 
conceive of them have formed^thejr conceptions not from the 
The Pamphlets of Bishop Hopkins. 



true likeness but from a caricature. Of this no one needs any- 
thing more to convince him, than to take up what writings 
left us of John Robinson, the Pastor of the Pilgrim Church ; of 
Cotton, of Owen ; or to take the journals of Bradford, or Win- 
throp ; or the works of John Howe, the favorite chaplain of Oliver 
Cromwell: that Howe, from whose works Robert Hall declared 
that he had learned more than from any other man. These are 
not the productions of ignorant illiberal men. Such is not the 
food that ignorance, or fanaticism, or bigotry feeds upon. 

By novelists and historians the Puritans have been grossly I 
caricatured. How easily such caricatures, and even direct false- I 
hoods, spread and gain credence, may be readily understood from 
the errors which we have seen spreading, even in New England, 
concerning the early history of our fathers. How many people 
in these United States, and even here in our midst, confidently 
believe that the famous code entitled " The Blue Laws of Con- 
necticut" once had a place among the statutes of this colony? 
Yet our fathers knew nothing about them. They are a sheer 
fabrication, for which the world is indebted to " Peters' History 
of Connecticut ;" the work of an Episcopal clergyman of this 
colony, who, in the beginning of the Revolution, sided with the 
enemies of his country, and fled from the indignation of his 
neighbors to England ; where he employed his time in writing a 
history, so full of gross falsehoods, that the greatest charity can 
imagine nothing better in its defence than to suppose it was not 
intended to be believed. Yet there were men in New Haven, 
who, as late as the year 1829, published an edition of that work, 
" with such affirmation* in the preface, as would lead all who are 
without other sources of information, to believe that what it con- 
tains, is irrefragable truth."* 

To this caricature of the Puritans, no one has contributed 
more effectually than the historian Hume. He spares no pains 
to stigmatize them as " zealots," whose "principles" appear "fri* 
volous," and whose " habits " were " ridiculous." Yet Hume is 
compelled to declare, what the course of history would have 
developed, even had he not declared it, that " the precious spark 
of liberty had been kindled by the Puritans alone" and that it is 
to them that " the English owe the whole freedom of their consti- 
tution" With regard to the particular events, the secondary 
causes,- which introduced the principles of freedom into the 
British Constitution, to which, in spite of the boasted Magna 
Charta of King John, freedom was an entire stranger up to the 
dynasty of the Stuarts, with regard to these secondary causes, 
Hume is a competent judge. But Hume was a cold-blooded 

* See Kingsley's Historical Discourse, at the two hundredth anniversary of the 
settlement of New Haven. 


infidel ; peculiarly bitter against Christianity in its evangelical 
.-and spiritual form. To judge of the principles of evangelical 

- religion as distinguished from a religion of superstitious forms 

* and splendid rituals, Hume was not competent. He could never 
appreciate the motives of the Puritans. He could not see how 

I the principle of Justification by faith alone, by bringing every 
v soul for himself directly to God, with no reliance on Priestly inter- 

IventionS) while it made every man feel his responsibilities, 
made him also aware of his rights; and taught him to shake off 
j/the despotism of a priesthood whose claims to divine authority 
Crested in sheer falsehood. He could not see how this dis- 
covery and vindication of the right to religious freedom, natu- 
rally led to the discovery of man's inalienable civil rights, and 
gave him the spirit to maintain them. He could not appreciate 
the principle that wrought in the Puritans ; and hence, in his 
view, their activity was turbulence, their firmness wilfulness, 
their zeal for the fundamental principles of the oracles of God 
was fanaticism. Hume saw not what they saw, freedom, pu- 
rity, truth, the vindication of the religious and civil rights of man, 
as the end of their labors aud the reward of their perseverance. 

From Hume's sketch of the Reformation, and his delineation 
of the character of the Puritans, it is most evident, that except 
the incidental bearing upon civil laws and popular freedom, he 
saw no difference between the superstitions of Popery, and the 
Reformed religion. With him religion was but an establishment : 
the creation of popular ignorance and credulity : an engine of 
the government, to be moulded by the civil power into such a 
form as to render it most subservient to purposes of state. Hence 
he praises the " slow steps by which the reformation was con- 
ducted in England;" he extols that human policy by which 
" the fabric of the hierarchy was maintained entire ; and the an- 
cient" (viz. the Papal) "liturgy was preserved, so far as consis- 
tent with the new principles :" and by which " many ceremonies 
become venerable from age, and preceding use, were retained." 
With him, the only question is that of human expediency. 

(Whether the principles of the Gospel be preserved in their pu- 
rity ; whether impositions inconsistent with the Gospel be laid 
aside ; whether the Church of God shall be severed from the domi- 
nation of mere worldly politicians; whether the Gospel and 
its ordinances, given by the toils and blood of the Son of God, 
shall be left as he gave them, pure and simple, with power to se- 
cure the great ends for which they were given, rather than so per- 
verted and disguised as to lull men into a false security ; these 
are matters for which Hume cares not, and concerning which he 
makes no inquiry. Concerning the Reformation itself, he rejoices 
that " the new religion, by mitigating the genius of the ancient 


superstition, and rendering it more compatible with the peace 
and interests of society, had preserved that happy medium which 
wise men have always sought, and which the people have so 
seldom been able to maintain." Hence, in the Puritans, he sees 
little else save the turbulent zeal of ignorant and misguided fa- 
natics ; breaking the public peace ; disturbing the established 
order ; shaking the foundations of civil government ; and going 
to the dungeon or into banishment, in their mad rage against, 
what he styles, " inoffensive observances, surplices, corner caps, 
and tippets." If from such a mingling of the elements there 
comes out the fair product of human liberty, Hume acknowledges 
the fact, but he accords not to the Puritans the praise. Deep and 
overwhelming as was the mass of superstitions with which the 
Papal Beast had loaded Christianity during the accumulating 
corruptions of a thousand years of darkness, Hume rejoices that 
so little was changed ; and he ascribes it to " the spirit of contra- 
diction to the Romanists, taking place in this one instance only 
universally in England? that the altar was removed from the 
wall, placed in the middle of the church, and was thenceforward 
denominated the communion table." It did not occur to Hume, 
or he considered it too trifling to notice, that the Popish altar was 
a place where the Priest pretended to offer up a propitiatory sa- 
crifice ; and that when the eyes of men were opened to this hor- 
rid corruption, which in effect made void the one only and all 
sufficient sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, it was demanded, of 
course, that the altar should be removed : since the Gospel now 
knows no Priest nor altar nor sacrifice. The simplest lessons 
as well as the fundamental principles of the Gospel demanded 
that the Priest should be turned into a simple minister ; the altar 
into a communion table; the sacrifice of the mass, into simple bread 
and wine ; the symbols, not the substance, of the body and blood of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. It was on this principle, that when the 
communion table was afterwards turned again into an altar and 
placed against the wall, for the minister once more to seem to 
act the part of a priest, officiating, with sacerdotal interventions 
before the altar, with his back to the people, it was throughout 
England deemed the symbol of a virtual abandonment of the 
fundamental doctrine of the Reformation, and a virtual return to 
popery. Yet so far is Hume from caring for or comprehending 
the deep principle involved, that he regrets the change from the 
Romish forms, and can ascribe the turning of the altar into a 
communion table to no other cause than " the spirit of contradic- 
tion to the Romanists !" How poorly is such a man qualified to 
judge of the principles of the Puritans ! How lamentable that 
his opinions on these subjects should enstamp themselves on so 


many minds ; and form, with scarcely a question of their accu- 
racy, the prevailing sentiments of a large portion of the world ! 

With regard to the true source of English liberty, however, 
the testimony of Hume is largely corroborated and unquestion- 
able. Says Lord King, " By the independent divines, who were 
his instructors, Locke was taught those principles of liberty, 
which they ivere THE FIRST TO DISCLOSE TO THE WORLD. As for 
toleration, or any true notion of religious liberty, or any general 
freedom of conscience, we owe them not in the least degree to 
what is called the Church of England. On the contrary, we owe 
all these to the INDEPENDENTS in the time of the Commonwealth, 
and to Locke, their most illustrious and enlightened disciple." 
Lord Brougham speaks also of the Independents, as " a body 
of men to be held in lasting veneration, for the unshaken forti- 
tude with which, at all times, they have maintained their attach- 
ment to civil liberty ; men to whose ancestors England will 
ever acknowledge a boundless debt of gratitude, as long as 
freedom is prized among us ; for," he continues, " I fearlessly 
confess it, they, with whatever ridicule some may visit their 
excesses, or with whatever blame others ; they, with the zeal of 
martyrs, and with the purity of early Christians, the skill and 
courage of the most renowned warriors, obtained for England 
the free constitution which she enjoys." 

The Puritans have been blamed as contending for frivolous 
matters ; because the occasions in which these contests originated, 
were such matters as the imposition of an ecclesiastical habit, a 
surplice, a tippet, kneeling at communion, or the use of the ring 
in marriage. But how seldom can the value of a principle be 
measured by the occasion which calls it into debate ? Should 
one now attempt to stigmatize the patriots of the American 
Revolution as turbulent fanatics, because they took the field, suf- 
fered their sons to be slaughtered, their land to be wasted and 
filled with smoking ruins, and all for a paltry three-penny tax 
on a pound of tea ; how inadequate such a representation ! 
How deceptive ; how entirely removed from the truth ! Years 
of oppression had preceded. Multiplied wrongs had been 
inflicted. The tax on tea was a trifle ; the principle involved 
was of untold importance to the welfare of millions yet unborn, 
and to the liberties of the world. It was no quarrel of avarice 
or ill-blood on the part of our fathers ; but a war of principle ; 
whose result has put forward the dial of human freedom centu- 
ries in advance of the progress of ordinary times. 

Such was the cause of the Puritans. They had suffered 
grievous and indescribable wrongs. The world had groaned 
under a spiritual bondage and groped in spiritual darkness, 
through the want of a few FIRST PRINCIPLES ; whose loss or un- 


checked violation results necessarily in darkness and bondage. 
Bitter was the cup which had been long filling up ; the last drop 
made it overflow. The last drop was the occasion on which the 
debate aroe ; not the whole matter in debate. It was not for a 
cap or a surplice ; nor yet simply against a liturgy, or a hierar- 
chy, that the Puritans contended ; but against spiritual corrup- 
tion and despotism, and in behalf of religion herself, pure and 
simple, as she came from heaven. 

But if the matters in debate were indeed indifferent, or of small 
moment, why did the hierarchy and the civil power empty more 
than half the pulpits in England, and send men and women and 
children to prison or into banishment, for matters of mere indif- 
ference ? This is sheer persecuting tyranny. If the things in 
debate were indeed indifferent, why did they impose them upon 
the consciences of good men and true subjects with such fearful 
rigors ? The Puritans did not deem them indifferent. They 
never admitted that they were contending for matters of. small 
moment ; but for their rights, for conscience, for the truth ; for 
their country; for God. 

But these preliminary matters need not farther occupy our 
attention. We must return to the days of the Puritans, and 
dwell among them ; hearing their statements, witnessing their 
distresses, observing the course of events ; and weighing, as we 
shall be able, the matters that pass under ourfreview. 

Justly to appreciate these things, it is indispensable that we 
take a cursory view of the state of things preceding the rise of 
the Puritans. We will therefore, in this chapter, briefly glance at 
a few things more important to be noticed previous to the dawn of 
the Reformation. In the next, we will review the life and times 
of Wickliffe, that honored father no less of Puritanism than of 
the Reformation. The third will bring us to the beginning of the 
Reformation under the reign of Henry VIII. The fourth will de- 
velope its progress under Edward VI. This brief survey com- 
plete, we will proceed to sketch the rise of Puritanism, its conflicts 
with Prelatical usurpations and oppressions, till we cross the Atlan- 
tic and land with the Pilgrims on the rock of Plymouth. Then, 
leaving the Pilgrims in the midst of these labors, we will return 
to England, and observe the events there transpiring under the 
reign of James and the elder Charles : till this religious contro* 
versy, drawing into itself the great questions of civil liberty and 
human rights, overturns the established church and the throne 
together ; despoils the bishops of their mitres, and brings the king 
to the scaffold. A rapid glance at subsequent events will bring 
us to the questions at issue between Puritanism and Prelacy at 
the present day ; and to the vindication of that FAITH and ORDER, 
which, in common with our Pilgrim Fathers, we find broadly 
and solidly based on the Word of God. 


" ENGLAND," says Bishop Burnet in his History of the Refor- 
mation, " had been for three hundred years the tamest part of Chris- 
tendom to the Papal authority, and had been accordingly dealt 
with." We can only give our attention to one or two of the 
principal events which contributed to give the Pope such resist- 
less sway over the island of our forefathers. 

William, duke of Normandy, surnamed the Conqueror, in 
A. D., 1066, obtained the crown of England mainly through the 
favor of the Pope ; and various unusual advantages were granted 
to the See of Rome in return. Further prerogatives were granted 
to the Popedom, under the reign of that weak and wicked king 
John,) who took possession of the throne A. D. 1190. John quar- 
relling with his bishops, the Pope took occasion to interfere, and 
appointed on his own authority an archbishop of Canterbury. 
John refused to admit the Pope's nomination, and the Pope put 
the kingdom under an interdict. By the operation of that inter- 
dict, " The nation was deprived at once of all the exterior exer- 
cise of its religion. The altars were despoiled of their ornaments ; 
the crosses, the relics, the images and the statues of the saints^ 
were laid on the ground : and as if the air itself had been pro- % 
faned, and might pollute them by its contact, the priests carefully 
covered them up even from their own approach and veneration. 
The bells were removed from the steeples and laid on the ground." 
" The churches wtre shut. The dead were refused Christian 
burial, and thrown into ditches on the highways." According 
to the belief of the times, the nation was cut oft' from God and 
from heaven. No courage or patriotism could give any man 
heart to meet the power of such a horrible and mysterious curse. 
The king was excommunicated : and in those days the excom- 
municated person lost his civil rights, and was accounted not 
only an outlaw, but loathsome and accursed. No one, as he 
feared the like sentence upon himself, and perdition upon his 
own soul, might afford him a shelter or do him a kindness. The 
subjects of John were, by the Pope, absolved from their alle- 
giance ; and the kingdom was given to Philip, king of France ; 
who was required, as a dutiful son of the church, to come with 
an army and enter upon the possession. 

JOHN, in distress and terror, submitted to the Pope, and took 
an oath to perform whatever stipulations the Pope should impose. 
Then kneeling, with his hands held between the hands of the 
legate, and under his dictation, he took the following oath : " I 
John, by the grace of God, King of England and Lord of Ire- 
land, in order to expiate my sins, from my own free will, and 
advice of my barons, give to the church of Rome, to Pope Inno- 
cent and his successors, the kingdom of England, and all other 
prerogatives of my crown. I will hereafter hold them as the 


Pope's vassal. I will be faithful to God and to the church of 
Rome ; to the Pope my master, and his successors legitimately 
elected." Having done homage to the Pope's legate, and re- 
instated the archbishop of Canterbury appointed by the Pope, 
and paid tribute, the crown was restored to him, while the legate 
trampled the tribute money under his feet." 

The ecclesiastical preferments of England were thus given 
into the hands of the Pope. Foreigners were put into the richest 
bishoprics ; and enjoyed their revenues without residing in their 
dioceses, or so much as setting foot on English ground. Va- 
cant preferments the Pope sold for the benefit of his own coffers ; 
nay, without waiting for the death of the incumbent, he made 
provisional sales of dioceses, parishes, and canonries, to any who 
would pay his price ; who were thus endowed with the right of 
succession whenever the void term should occur. He exacted 
the revenues of all vacant benefices ; the twentieth of all ecclesi- 
astical revenues whatever : and where these revenues exceeded 
a hundred marks, he demanded a third : of the benefices of non- 
residents he exacted one-half. 

A century and more passed away while the kingdom was suf- 
fering under this foreign yoke with scarcely a hope of ever finding 
relief. At length the sceptre of England was grasped by a firmer 
and more sagacious hand. Edward III, A. D. 1352, ordained 
that all forestalling of benefices should cease : that the elections, 
presentments, and collations, should stand in right of the crown, 
or of any of his majesty's subjects, notwithstanding any provisions 
from Rome. An inquiry directed by Parliament, resulted in the 
discovery that more than half the landed property in the kingdom 
was in the hands of the clergy : that the most lucrative benefices 
were in the possession of foreigners; some of them mere boys, 
who had never set foot on English soil : that the collector of 
Peter's pence, who " kept a house in London with clerks and 
officers thereunto belonging, transported yearly to the Pope twenty 
thousand marks, and most commonly more;" that other foreign 
dignitaries, holding ecclesiastical benefices in the kingdom, though 
residing at Rome, received an equal or greater sum for their sine- 
cures ; "that the tax paid to the Pope for ecclesiastical dignities 
doth amount to five fold as much as the tax that doth appertain 
to the king by the year, of this whole realm." 

By the energy of Edward III, the evil began to be checked : 
it was not cured. All trials of titles to the right of presentations 
to benefices were still brought into the Romish courts beyond 
sea ; appointments to benefices were still subject to the confir- 
mation of the Pope ; the canons and constitutions enacted by 
the clergy convoked without the king's authority, were binding 
without any voice of the king ; so that the ecclesiastical power 


was independent of the civil government, and had authority to 
oppress the people, in various ways, without limit or redress. 

To remedy these evils, the famous statute, whose provisions 
are commonly referred to by the title of Premunire, was passed in 
the reign of Richard II. " That if any did purchase translations, 
benefices, processes, sentences of excommunications, bulls, or 
any other instruments from the court of Rome, against the king 
or his crown ; or whoever brought them into England, or did 
receive or execute them, they were declared to be out of the 
king's protection, and should forfeit their goods and chattels, 
besides enduring further processes and penalties, at the discretion 
of the king and council." 

By such enactments the kingdom was in a measure relieved 
from the extraordinary impositions laid upon it under the hands 
of William the Conqueror, and king John. In other respects, 
the iron hand of the Papacy still lay heavy upon England. Ig- 
norance and superstition reigned. Though parts of the Scripture 
had been translated into Anglo-Saxon, a few rare copies of 
which might be in existence among the rubbish of the monaste- 
ries ; no Englishman had as yet possessed the Bible in his native 
tongue. Few even of the clergy were able to expound the 
prayers and forms of divine service, which were all in Latin ; 
few were even able to read. Yet their power over the supersti- 
tious feats of the people was almost without limit. Under the 
dominion of ignorance and superstition, oppressed and plundered 
by a rapacious and debauched priesthood, subject to a govern- 
ment just emerging from the barbarous feudal system, with no 
knowledge of their rights, the people enjoyed not the least degree 
of freedom of conscience, and scarcely knew anything of the 
security of just and equal laws. 

It was in the midst of this darkness that WICKLIFFE arose, 
the morning star of the Reformation. 



His early Life and Writings. Negotiation with Rome. His Principles : 
Contrast between these and modern Puseyism. Persecution of his fol- 
lowers for a succeeding century. 

WICKLIFFE was a child, three years old, when Edward III. 
ascended the throne, A. D. 1327. He lived, therefore, a century 
and a half before Luther ; and died A. D. 1384, or 108 years be- 
fore the discovery of America by Columbus. 

At an early age he entered the University at Oxford, where he 
earned the name of a hard student and a profound scholar. One 
of his bitterest enemies describe*d him as " second to none in 
philosophy, and in scholastic discipline altogether incomparable." 
But most of all he was distinguished for his early and profound 
acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures ; so that by the common 
consent of his cotemporary scholars he was styled " the Evan- 
gelical Doctor ;" a rare distinction in those days ; and one which, 
if conferred on a man of inferior genius and attainments, would 
have been a token of equivocal praise, or even of contempt. 
Who can doubt that it was the Bible that lighted up his genius, 
and that gave a distinctness and vigor to the productions of his 
pen, which rendered them the wonder of that age ? 

Drinking the waters of Christianity at their fountain, the Word 
of God, Wickliffe saw even while a student, the gross supersti- 
tion and corruption of the prevailing religion. What he saw he 
dared to speak, and to write : nor did he hesitate to adapt his 
writings to the capacity of the common people ; setting forth 
the way of holiness, and pointing out the worldliness, the cor- 
ruptions, and the errors of those, who by their office ought to be 
guides and ensamples to the people, in the way of life. 

Next, he set himself to resist the imposition of the " Black 
Friar Mendicants ;" who had spread themselves over the king- 
dom, absolving the sins of the vilest wretches for money, 
usurping the offices of the regular clergy, drawing away the 
youth of the universities to their monasteries ; and who thus, 
says an early historian, >" By their numerous arts and efforts of 
lying and begging, and confessing ; by frightening the ignorant, 



and flattering the rich, succeeded, in twenty-four years from 
their establishment in England, in piling up their mansions to 
a royal altitude." 

These efforts secured for Wickliffe the admiration of the learn- 
ed, and the gratitude of his country. He was raised to the war- 
dership of Baliol College ; and afterwards to that of Canterbury 
Hall. But, continuing to proclaim the Gospel by every possible 
exertion of his voice and his pen, he was soon hurled from this sta- 
tion by the mandate of the Archbishop. Yet he ceased not to 
preach the Gospel, and to inveigh against the prevailing super- 
stitions and vices of the clergy. 

His vigorous writings were the dawn of independence as well 
as of light to England. To these it was owing, that the public 
mind had become so far disabused with regard to the ghostly 
power of the Pope, that the king and parliament ventured to in- 
quire how far the Pope might bind them, under penalty of perdi- 
tion, to yield to his enormous exactions. Wickliife was now 
summoned by name, to declare whether the king and nation 
might not refuse to pay the odious tribute extorted from the su- 
perstitious and imbecile King John. If the people could not be 
so far enlightened as not to fear the interdicts and excommunica- 
tions of the Pope, the king and parliament could not venture to 
withhold the tribute, without certain ruin. Wickliffe obeyed the 
summons. His arguments and eloquence prevailed. The tri- 
bute was withheld. 

If to the vigorous and politic Edward III. the praise is due of 
beginning to wrest the kingdom from the grasp of papal power ; 
the laws by which this was effected owed their existence and 
efficiency not less to Wickliffe than to the king. Edward's 
sword and sceptre would have been impotent in this matter, 
without the pen of Wickliffe ; nor is it probable that, without 
this, the project of such laws would ever have been conceived. 
ENGLAND'S BEST FRIEND : nor is it possible that the Pope should 
ever cease to consider it his deadliest foe. 

Wickliffe was now raised to the chair of Theology in Oxford ; 
where he shone equally the learned professor, and, to borrow a 
phrase of his own, the diligent teacher " of simple men and 
women " in the " way to heaven." From this station he was 
called into the public service of his country, and sent by the 
King on an embassy to procure from the Roman Court a re- 
dress of grievances. Bruges was the appointed place of meet- 
ing. A negotiation with the Commissioners of the Holy See 
opened the eyes of Wickliffe to a clearer perception of the deep 
iniquities and incurable corruptions of the whole scheme of 
popery. He returned a Reformer in earnest. He denied the 


Pope's supremacy. He denied his infallibility. He denied the 
doctrine of transubstantiation. He denied that the Pope, or any 
other prelate, ought to have prisons for the punishment of offend- 
ers against the discipline of the Church. The Pope himself he 
denounced as " Antichrist, the proud worldly priest of Rome, 
the most cursed of all clippers and purse-cutters." 

Was this to be endured ? The monks drew up charges of 
heresies, extracted from his writings, and sent them to Rome. 
The Pope issued his bulls to the Archbishop of Canterbury, to 
the King, to the University, calling for Wickliffe's blood. 
All was in commotion. I need not detail the means by which 
Divine Providence defended the life of the Reformer : till hunt- 
ed, harassed, and still continuing his labors for many years, 
he came at last, in spite of all his enemies, to a peaceful end. 
After his return from Rome, Wickliffe descended from public 
life into the retiracy of a country parson ; and in this work which, 
above all others, his soul loved, he spent the remainder of his 

The secret of Wickliffe's power lay in his appeals t^ thft "Ri~ ^ 
ble. Mighty as he was in his powers of logic and his stores of 
learning, he still found that " The sword of the Spirit is the Word 
of God." This was his theme ; this was his authority ; this was 
his argument. He translated it into the English tongue : and 
after all other claims have been discussed, it is now conceded, that 
Wickliffe's version was the first English copy of the entire Word 
of God. Men saw now not only the corruptions of popery, but 
of their own hearts. It was not long before Wickliffe had many 
of like faith and spirit whom he sent forth " with their staff in 
their hands, and the Word of God in their bosoms," that they 
might make known everywhere the way of life, and preach every 
where that men should repent. Such was their success, that the 
"ancient chronicles inform us, that one half the kingdom in a 
short time became Lollards, or Wickliffites."* 

It is not consistent with the work in hand to pursue itjifipfijx 
sonal history of Wickliffe to any considerable extent. "Our busi- \ 
ness is with his principles, and with the result of his labors, as 
bearing upon the history and principles of the Puritans. It is 
sufficient to say, that Wickliffe appears to have been a very de- 
vout and holy man ; ardent, bold, living in dark and danger- 
ous times, and but a man. It is not wonderful, therefore, if he 
was not always so moderate and discreet as would be required 
if he were to be judged according to the standard of more peace- 
ful and polished times. With less boldness and fire, he could 
not have done the work of a reformer. Self-denying, humble, 
prayerful, full of love for souls, and faithful to the cause of Christ, 

* Punchard. 


he unquestionably was. Geoffrey Chaucer^ the father of Eng- 
lish poetry, who had been the friend and fellow student of Wick- 
liffe, has drawn his picture, and paid a tribute to his memory in 
the following description of a parish priest : 

" A good man there was of religion, 
He was a poor parson of a town, 
But rich he was of holy thought and werk, 
He was also a learned man, a clerk, 
That Christe's Gospel trewely wolde preche j 
His parishens devoutly wolde tech, 
Benign he was, and wonder diligent, 
And in adversitie full patient. 

# * # * 

" Wide was his parish and houses far asunder, 
But he no left nought for no rain ne thunder, 
Tn sickness and in mischeefe to visite, 
The ferrest in his parish, moche and lite, 
Upon his fete, and in his hand a staff. 
But if were any person obstinat, 
What so he were of high or low estat, 
Him would he snibben sharply for the nones." 

Wickliffe was, in the true sense, a Reformer. He traced cor- 
ruptions to their sources : he pursued abuses back to the princi- 
ple from which they sprung. He aimed not at lopping off now 
and then a branch, but at tearing up the tree of evil by the roots. 
He aimed at laying down such principles, and at basing his re- 
form upon such grounds, that when these principles were once 
established and brought into successful operation, other things 
would follow of course, and the work of reform be done. Of 
his work it might be said as of that of John the Baptist ; " And 
now the axe is laid at the foot of the tree." The plan of Wick- 
liffe resembled that of Luther, rather than that of Erasmus. Both 
these men were learned ; both saw the abuses of popery ; both 
aimed at reformation. But Erasmus looked not beyond the pre- 
sent abuses ; he saw not the principle from which they sprung. 
Hence he began to wield his shafts of resistless satire against the 
superstitions of the people, and the vices of the monks. Did he 
accomplish anything ? Certainly he did : these vices and su- 
perstitions received a momentary check. But the sources re- 
mained ; and the stream of evil flowed on. Like an unskilful 
physician, he mistook the symptoms for the disease ; and ap- 
plying his remedies to the symptoms, he allowed the disease to 
fasten itself irrecoverably upon the constitution. Luther's plan 
was different. He saw the vices and superstitions that prevail- 
ed, in all their enormity. But he saw also the source from which 
these disorders sprung. He struck at the source. Justification by 
faith alone ; no purchased indulgences ; no priestly interventions 
and absolutions ; no reliance on 'works of merit or of penance : 
CHURCH ;" and this doctrine shakes the very pillars of popery. 


Superstitions, vices, abuses, the despotism of ghostly power 
give way before it. The work is done ; there is a reformation. 

Such was the plan of Wickliffe. The senseless superstitions, 
the idolatrous forms which Popery had substituted for Christian- 
ity, Wickliffe saw ; but he spent not his strength to war upon 
inferior things. Singling out the fundamentals of the Popish 
scheme, he laid the axe at its colossal pillars. It was not sim- 
ply to purify a system, in its very foundation and principles cor- 
rupt and antichristian, but to clear away its very foundations ; 
and to build up true religion in its room. There was no great 
principle of the Reformation which Wickliffe did not see and 
adopt. With the Bible in his hand, and taking that alone for 
his guide, he advanced further into the field of Apostolic truth 
and order, than Luther and his immediate coadjutors. Wickliffe 
traced up his principles to their springs. He reached hold on 
the results, which after a lapse of centuries, and after an age of 
suffering and research, the Providence of God unfolded once 
more to the eyes of the Puritans. p 

And what _Wr_lhfise principles ? THE B^LE ALONE, irre- 
spective of the decrees, or traditions, or interpretations of the 
Church, whether by prelates, councils or fathers, Wickliffe main- 
tained to be the SOLE .RULE OF FAITH AND DUTY. " To the law 
and to the testimony " as to the ultimate rule and arbiter, he direct- 
ed the mind of every man. No man might allow the priest or 
the Church to interpose an authoritative interpretation : PRIVATE 
JUDGMENT was more than a right : it was an indispensable duty. 

CHRIST ALONE, he acknowledged THE SOLE HE.\D AND LAW- 
GIVER OF THE CHURCH ; affirming that " No true man will ever 
dare to put two heads, lest the Church be monstrous." To im- 
pose mystical or significant ceremonies of human invention as, 
parts of religious worship was sinful : to restrict men to prescribed 
rituals and forms of prayer, was " contrary to the liberty granted 
by God." 

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST he defined to be " The Congregation 
of just men, for whom Christ shed his blood ;" a definition which, 
instead of sweeping a parish or a nation into one indiscriminate 
society falsely called " The Church," requires the Church to be 
limited to those who, professedly and apparently, are disciples 
of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Of the RITE OF CONFIRMATION, not finding it in the Bible, and 
seeing its baneful results in augmenting the power of the bish- 
ops, and in deluding the souls of the people, Wickliffe hesitated 
not to declare his sentiments in the following terms : u The 
short and trifling confirmation^ performed by the Caesarean prelates, 
together with its pompous mummery, was probably introduced 
by the instigation of the Devil, for deluding people, and advanc- 
ing the importance and dignity of the Episcopal order." 


liffe, " there were BUT TWO species of orders, namely, that of 
deacons and of priests." " The Church militant," said he, " ought 
not to be burdened with three; nor is there any ground for it." 
" One thing," says he, " I boldly affirm : that in the primitive 
Church, or in the time of the Apostle Paul, two orders of clergy 
were thought sufficient ; and I say also that in the time ol 
Paul, a Presbyter and a Bishop were one and the same ; for in 
those times the distinct orders of Pope, Cardinals, Patriarchs, 
Archbishops, Bishops, Archdeacons, officials and deans, were 
not invented." " By the ordinance of Christ," said Wickliffe, 
" priests and bishops were all one; but afterwards the Emperor 
made bishops lords, and priests their servants." " From the 
faith of Scripture, it seems sufficient that there should be presby- 
ters and deacons, holding the state which Christ assigned them ; 
since it appears that all other orders and degrees have their origin 
in the pride of Ccesar." 

Such was the scheme of Church polity which this great and 
good and most learned man drew from the Word of God. A 
better summary of the principles for which the Puritans contend- 
ed can scarcely be given, trustification by faith alone, the fun-' 
damental principle of the Reformation ; The Bible alone the rule 
of faith and duty : Christ alone, the sole lawgiver of his Church ; 
no human traditions to be received in proof for matters of faith ; 
no human inventions to be imposed as essential parts of divine 
worship /-ptlrcse were the original principles for which the Puri- 
tans contended. The wrath and power of the Hierarchy coming 
down upon their heads for these, the Puritans were at length, 
like Wickliffe, led to inquire into the foundations of the Hierar- 
chy itself, and to reject it as unscriptural ; a usurpation of Christ's 
prerogatives and of his people's rights. 

The contest on the first part of these principles has now be- 
come the great theological debate of the present day; the 
Oxford Tractarians and their followers taking the ground of old 
Rome, in favor of Tradition, denying the right of private judg- 
ment, and teaching the efficacy of priestly interventions in op- 
position to justification by faith alone ; and the evangelical party 
in the Episcopal Church fighting over again the battles of Wick- 
liffe, of the early British reformers, and of the Puritans. The 
Bishops of Maryland, New Jersey and Connecticut, have flung 
their banners boldly to the wind. On the banner of the Bishop 
of Maryland, as it floats in the breeze, you shall see inscribed in 
words written by the Bishop's own finger : 

"Ministerial intervention" "THAT SIN MAY BE FORGIVEN, is 
the essence of priesthood" 

" Truth has been obscured, in the discussions concerning a 


Christian priesthood, by stopping short of that definition." " All 
the forms of priesthood that the world has ever known have pro- 
pitiation for their end." " Why should the administrator of 
water by which sins are luashed away, be less a priest than 
the sprinkler of blood, by which atonement was effected?"' 

Again, as the waving breeze opens another fold of that banner, 
you shall see inscribed there, " Rightly interpreted the Bible can 
only be in and by the Church. Not a word of the text justifies 
an individual in setting up his private interpretation of Scripture, 
as the rule by which to judge his preacher's teaching." " The 
people judges!" "But of what? Whether he" [the priest] 
"is to teach? Whether he teaches the truth? of neither." 

On the standard of Connecticut Episcopacy you shall see it 
written by the hand of the Bishop in the solemn word of his 
charge; " The Holy Scriptures, as they were interpreted by 
the Church ;" " Our book of Common Prayer ;" " a standard of 
faith and worship." " Notions of the right of priv ate judgment !" 
" erroneous." 

As the waving breeze displays other folds of that banner, your 
eye shall catch, at various glinlpses, the words " Dissenters" 
" Dissenting Press" "Incongruous Sects;" " Numerous bodies 
of intelligent, humble and devoted Christians, but without any 
sufficient bond of union and stability ; the Bible alone, to the 
exclusion of all church authority; the Bible alone, without note 
or comment, their only standard of faith /" " Surrounded by all 
this desolation the Protestant Episcopal Church in this country 
appears as an oasis in the desert." 

" The church the great medium of communicating divine grace," 
" The Revelation of God offers salvation only through the 
Church" " The true church of God is our only ark of safety." 

" The true economy of the Christian religion regards men as by 

nature the children of wrath ;" " it takes them from this state," 

"and transfers them BY BAPTISM, into the family, 

household, and kingdom of the Saviour." * * Let them 

be assured, that those who are sacramentally baptized,"* 

* "become BY THAT ACT" (not in name only, but in 
deed and in truth) " members of Christ," " children of God," 
" and heirs of the kingdom of heaven." * * " They are re- 
stored to a state of favor with God" " And this is not to be 
regarded as a mere temporary act, but as the initiation into an 
abiding state." * " The first sentiment impressed upon their 
youthful hearts should be, that they ARE IN VERY DEED, 
the children of God ; * * that in the sacrament of Baptism 
they received the spirit of adoption," by which they are enabled to 

* " The Priesthood in the Church," by W. R. Whittingham, Bishop of Maryland, 


address God as their Father, to regard Christ as their Brother, 
as well as Redeemer, and the Holy Ghost as their in-dwelling 
companion and sanctifier." * 

Turn we now to read the inscriptions written by the Bishop's 
finger on the standard of New Jersey Episcopacy ; and here we 
see traced, in broad and legible lines, the following sentence : 

" The true Catholic Pastor, who thus receives the Word of God, 
with the transmitted witness of the CHURCH ; who guides 
himself by the Holy Scriptures, not as he understands them, 
but as Catholic antiquity has revealed, and as Catholic 
consent has kept their meaning ; will be chastened and schooled 
by the submission of his judgment to the wise and good of every 
age, into the child-like spirit which God will bless." 

And what says the Bishop of Ohio as he contemplates these 
doctrines, and gazes upon these unfurled standards ? He lifts 
up his warning voice in solemn tones : " I am constrained to say 
that every further step has produced a deeper conviction on my 
mind," * * that "it is a systematic abandonment of the 
vital and distinguishing features of the Protestant faith; 
and a systematic adoption of the very root and heart 
of Romanism" 

" A Gambier Romance," cries the editor of " The Churchman." 

" Slight shades of difference, which tincture the views of dif- 
ferent members of our household of faith," re-echoes the Bishop 
of Connecticut. 

There is one man more, whose name is as familiar in our Con- 
gregational and Presbyterian Churches as one of our household 
words ; an aged and venerable man, whose life has been spent 
in a simple and faithful testifying of the truth as it is in Jesus; 
and who is now ready to descend into the grave,f followed by 
the lamentation " My father ! My father ! " by thousands of 
the most devoted ministers of Christ in all communions ; an able 
and a faithful man ; a scribe well instructed in the law of God ; 
that man we should like to hear if it may be, on these matters 
which are daily growing to be of so much consequence in the 
Episcopal Churches both of England and in the United States. 
What says the venerable DR. MILNOR of the system of doctrines 
emblazoned on these unfurled standards ? Let us hear him : 

" When I can bring my mind to believe, that instead of my 
Bible as the guide of my faith I am bound to dishonor this 
best of heaven's gifts, by admitting tradition to a co-equal 
rank ; * * * when my charity shall so fail that I can consign my 
fellow Christians of other names, whatever be the strength of their 
faith in Christ, and the holiness of their lives, to the uncovenant- 
e-d mercies of God, because of their not belonging to a Church gov- 

* " Charge " by Rt. Rev. T. C. Brownell. 1843. f Since deceased. 


erned by bishops, consecrated by succession from the Apostles ; 
when I dare assert that that order is requisite, not only to the per- 
fection and completeness of a Christian Church, but to its very 
existence ; when I am convinced that I must ascribe exclusively 
to the Apostolical Commission, the derivation of the grace of 
the Spirit and our mystical communion with Christ ; to believe 
the truth that the sacraments of the Church are the ONLY 
CHANNELS whereby the gifts of the Holy Spirit are con- 
veyed to men * * * when I can be so presumptuous as to claim, as 
a minister of Christ, the power of personally absolving indivi- 
duals from their sins. * * * When I can make these admissions 
and subscribe these sentiments, I may join the ranks of the men 
of Oxford." 

It is most obvious that the debates in the Episcopal Church at 
the present day, are but the revival of the same contest which 
Wickliffe, the Reformers, and the old Puritans maintained 
against the tenets which form the basis of the Romish apostasy. 
Is the Evangelical system of faith, in opposition to the Romish, 
consistent with the Prelatical claims? Can this controversy be 
long maintained without drawing into question the Prelacy itself, 
and the very dogmas concerning ordination, the sacraments, and 
apostolic succession, on which the Prelatical character and 
claims are made to rest? If I have scanned the lessons of his- 
tory aright, the controversy, which is now rending the bowels of 
the Episcopal Church, is soon to be hushed up ; the evangelical 
party are to be silent ; and the whole body is quietly and im- 
perceptibly to yield to the Tractarian tendency towards Roman- 
ism ; or else the controversy is to follow in the track of the same 
old contest in the days of Wickliffe and the Puritans ; and Pre- 
lacy itself is to be called in question in the end. If I have read his- 
tory aright, the only alternative to the friends of Evangelical truth 
in that communion is, either finally to acquiesce in the prevalence 
and triumph of the principles which they now denounce as " the 
root and heart of Romanism," or like the old Puritans, to aban- 
don the system of Prelacy itself and come out from the midst of 
her. Of the reasons for these conclusions, you shall judge in 
our survey of the course which this same controversy has 
repeatedly taken in days of old ; and of the principles which 
must ever continue to turn it to that course.* 

Let us turn from this digression. While Wickliffe turned his 

* The author was gratified, some months after the delivery of this lecture, in read- 
ing, in the New Englander, the able article of Mr. Barnes, on " The position of the 
Evangelical Party in the Episcopal Church" in which he discusses the question so 
conclusively, " whether the objects at which they aim, can be secured in that com- 
munion ; or whether they do not necessarily meet with obstructions in the organi- 
zation of this Episcopal Church, which will certainly prevent the accomplishment 
of those objects." 

Since that time we have seen the leaders of that party avow themselves deter- 
mined to bring the question to an issue ; and declaring themselves ready rather to 



Let us turn from this digression. While Wickliffe turned his 
artillery against the mendicant monks, his university, the regular 
clergy, and the people applauded. While he stood forth the 
champion of his country against the exactions of the Pope, his 
king and the parliament sustained him. The Pope, indeed, thun- 
dered out his anathemas, and denounced his death. But Wick- 
liffe found those who were able, first to delay his trial, and after- 
wards to protect him. But when Wickliffe translated the Bible 
into the English tongue ; when he poured the light of heaven 
upon the thick darkness that reigned around him; when the 
Romish clergy saw their superstitions likely to be undermined 
by a scheme of doctrine whose necessary result was to set the 
consciences of men free from the domination of ghostly power ; 
and when in addition to all this, the prelates saw that the very 
basis of their prerogatives was likely to be overthrown and 
destroyed ; then the life of Wickliffe was indeed in danger. The 
wrath of his enemies was extreme ; the English prelates, the 
Pope, the priesthood, and the civil arm, were leagued for his 
destruction. But, with a series of remarkable providences, the 
Lord watched over him, till on the last day of A.D. 1384, he died 
in peace. 

It is the rejoicing of High Churchmen, that England was 
delivered from the arm of Wickliffe, even though it was only to 
be thrown, for more than another hundred years, into the jaws of 
the Pope. Says one of them, " Had Wickliffe succeeded in 
shaking the established system to pieces, one can scarcely think, 
without some awful misgivings, of the fabric, which, under his 
hand, might have risen out of the ruins. * * If the reformation of 
our Church had been conducted by Wickliffe, his work, in all pro- 
bability r , would have nearly anticipated the labors of Calvin, and 
the Protestantism of England might have pretty closely resembled 
the Protestantism of Geneva ; Episcopal government might have 
been discarded ; * * * the clergy might have been consigned to 
a degrading dependence on their flocks." " Had Wickliffe 
flourished in the 16th century, * * he might have been ready to 
perish in the gainsayings of such men as Knox and Cartwrightj 
at all events, it must be confessed that there is a marvellous re- 
semblance between the Reformer with his poor itinerant priests, 
and at least the better part of the Puritans who troubled our Israel 
in the days of Elizabeth and her successors. The likeness is suf- 
ficiently striking, almost to mark him out as their prototype and 
progenitor ; and therefore it is, that every faithful son of the 

submit to martyrdom, than to the prevalence of the dogmas which they oppose. 
But the General Convention has met, and Puseyism triumphs. After a feeble 
struggle the contest is hushed. So much is settled ; that no effectual resistance to 
Puseyism is to be expected in that communion. 


Church must rejoice with trembling, that the work of her final 
deliverance was consigned to him."* 

We accept the resemblance ; we receive Wickliffe with open 
arms, and gladly enrol him among the ranks of our ever hoi 
fathers, the Puritans of old England. 

At Wickliffe's death the art of printing was not invented ; nor 
was it yet to be revealed to the world till after the lapse of half a 
century. Wickliffe's translation existed only in copies written out 
by hand ; and yet, in his lifetime, they multiplied and spread 
rapidly. With great zeal, the Reformer had preached and pub- 
lished his doctrines ; having sent out, besides his translation of 
the Bible, nearly two hundred volumes from his indefatigable 

These were now condemned as heretical, and as many as 
could be found were committed to the flames. His translation 
of the Word of God, so far as copies could be discovered, was 
also consumed. But the seed was sown, and would continue to 
spring up. Even before Wickliffe's death, a law was passed, 
aimed at him and his followers, ordaining " That all who 
preached without license, or against the Catholic faith, should be 
arrested and kept in prison till they justified themselves according 
to the law and reason of holy Church /" and that law and reason 
of holy Church was the good pleasure of the bishop. 

Forty years after the death of Wickliffe, his bones were, by 
order of the council of Constance, taken from the grave, and pub- 
licly committed to the flames. Still the seed of the Reformation 
would continue to spring up. Taught by the writings of Wick- 
liffe, many embraced the true Gospel in England. Copies of his 
writings found their way to the continent, and became the seeds 
of a rising Reformation there ; which Rome vainly endeavored to 
overwhelm in fire and blood. 

The law of Richard II., though rigorously enforced, proved 
insufficient to suppress the rising Reformation. When Richard 
was deposed, the usurper, Henry IV., was willing to do the en- 
raged ecclesiastics a further pleasure. In the second year of his 
reign, A.D. 1401, it was enacted, " That if any person was sus- 
pected of heresy, the ordinary [the bishop, or the one having 
jurisdiction in his stead] might detain them in prison, till they 
were canonically purged, or did ajpjure their errors ; provided 
that the proceedings against them were publicly and judicially 
ended in three months. If they were convicted, the diocesan 
or his commissary might imprison or fine them at discretion. 
Those that refused to abjure their errors, or after abjuration re- 
lapsed, were to be delivered over to the secular power ; and the 
mayors, sheriffs, or bailiffs, were to be present, if required, when 

*Le Bas. 


the bishop or his commissary passed sentence ; and after sen- 
tence they were to receive them, and in some high place, burn 
them to death before the people" (Neale.) 

" By this law," says Neale, " the king's subjects were put from 
under his protection, and left to the mercy of the bishops in 
their spiritual courts ; and might, upon suspicion of heresy, be 
imprisoned and put to death, without presentment or trial by a 
jury, as is the practice in all criminal cases." The Bishop's sus- 
picion stood instead of an indictment ; the bishop's suspicion 
was instead of proof, unless the suspected person could purge 
himself; the bishop's judgment was the sole test of what consti- 
tuted heresy ; he was accuser, jury, and judge ; and who could 
stand against the suspicious displeasure of a brutish and in- 
censed bishop ? 

Nor was this law sufficient ; for in the beginning of the reign 
of Henry V. who ascended the throne A.D. 1413, it was further 
enacted, " That whosoever they were, that should read the Scrip- 
tures in the mother tongue, they should forfeit land, cattle, life, and 
goods from their heirs for ever, and be considered heretics to 
God, enemies to the crown, and most arrant traitors to the land." 

Such was the state of religious liberty in England, in the 
glorious conquering times of Henry V. Nor were these laws 
left to be a mere terror. By law it was made a part of the she- 
riff's oath, " that he would seek to repress all errors and heresies, 
commonly called Lollards :" " and it is," says Toulmin, " a striking 
instance of the permanent footing which error and iniquity gain 
when once established by law, that this clause was preserved in 
the oath long after the Reformation, even to the 1st of Charles I., 
when Sir Edward Coke, on being appointed sheriff of the county 
of Buckingham, objected to it, and ever since, it has been left 

The wrongs inflicted, the sufferings endured under these laws 
can never be told. There were no historians among the poor 
victims of these oppressions to register their tears and to chroni- 
cle the months of their imprisonment. From the beginning of 
these persecutions to the accession of Henry VIIL, a century 
rolled away. The witnesses were slain. The rising light was 
quenched in blood. Darkness, almost unbroken, reigned once 
more over the land. Rome and the Romish clergy of England 
rejoiced once more in a reign unbroken and undisturbed. 

But if there were no historians to chronicle the sufferings of 
them who loved the Word of God, the public records tell what 
public records may disclose, of their afflictions even unto death. 
Hundreds of examples are on record in which men and women 
were, on suspicion of heresy, seized, imprisoned, tortured, buried 
in their dungeons, or given to the flames. 


We pass now over the reign of five kings, occupying the 
space of more than a century ; a century of darkness, supersti- 
tion, commotions, and blood : but days of fatness and rejoicing 
for the bishops and the Pope. We come to the times of Henry 
VIIL, and to the occurrences of his eventful reign : we come to 
the time when the morning star of the Reformation was rising 
in Germany, in the beginning of the 16th century. The art of 
printing had now been invented ; and letters were reviving. A 
new world had just been discovered; and the old began to 
awake from its long and leaden slumbers. Men began to think, 
to inquire, and to enter upon fields of new and startling enterprise : 
sad omens for the reign of popish superstition and intolerance. 
It needed only that the Gospel should once more spring to light ; 
and the contest must commence in which Rome could no longer 
prove victorious. The causes of that long night of ignorance 
and superstition were sure to be investigated. The sources of 
spiritual despotism were to be explored. Lordly prelates, whose 
dominion stood in usurpation and superstition, would be sure to 
resist the progress of popular liberty ; till, in the course of that 
struggle, their own claims should be canvassed, their authority 
questioned and thrown aside. 

Such was the progress of light and freedom. The Reformers 
cast off the doctrinal errors of Popery. Another struggle between 
prelatical oppressions and usurpations on the one hand and the 
rights of conscience on the other, raised up the Puritans. The 
progress of their principles gave to England whatever of freedom 
it possesses that is worthy of the name ; and crossing the Atlan- 
tic, originated the institutions of our own happy Republic. 



The King and Martin Luther. He assumes the Supremacy of the Church. 
The King's Bible. Articles. " Institution of a Christian man." " Eru- 
dition of a Christian man." Only two orders of the ministry recognized 
as of Divine right, in the days of Henry, or in the succeeding age. Evi- 
dence collected by Stillingfleet. The Bloody Statute. Bible forbidden. 
Estimate of the Reformation under Henry. 

THERE was still subsisting in England, much of the leaven 
of the Reformation infused by WicklifFe, when news came of 
similar truths breaking forth and spreading under the labors of 
the Reformers in Germany. 

To the spread of the new heresy, or rather to the revival of the 
old doctrine of WicklifFe, King Henry VIII. opposed the whole 
weight of his absolute power. But why should not the king, 
who had been bred a scholar, and who had already been flattered 
into the conceit of unequalled abilities and learning; why 
should not the king reap also some glory in the field of litera- 
ture and theology ? He descended into the arena to break a 
lance with the great Reformer of Wittemberg ; whose onset no 
learning of the doctors, nor even the thunders of the Vatican, had 
been able to withstand. 

The drama of the Reformation in England opened by a book 
from King Henry VIII. in defence of the Seven Sacraments of 
the Church, against the heresies of Martin Luther. What was to 
be expected ? The book was lauded as the perfection of wisdom, 
and the end of disputation. " Nor was it a performance," says 
Hume, " which, if allowance be made for the age, does discredit 
to his capacity." The king sent a copy to the Pope, " who 
received so magnificent a present with great testimony of regard," 
and conferred on the king the title of " Defender of the faith ;" 
a title which even down to the present century, the Protestant 
sovereigns of England continued to wear. 

But what cared Luther for kingly arguments ? The might 
of monarchs lies in their power to command, in their armies 
and fleets. When a sovereign descends into the arena of intel- 
lectual strife, he comes single-handed, in the simple strength of 


an individual man. No long time was required to bring from 
Luther an answer burning with the fire of hot controversy, and in 
no manner regardful of the majesty of his opponent ; and when 
did an advocate of Popery come off from a contest with Martin 
Luther unscathed ? 

The result of this royal controversy was, to add immense 
notoriety to the Reformation ; and immensely to accelerate its 
progress. The king, now so thoroughly committed to the cause 
of Popery by having written a book, and so roughly handled and 
chagrined in his contest with the Reformer, was for ever fixed in 
his hatred of the Reformation. Accordingly we find, that the 
change effected in ecclesiastical affairs under Henry was less a 
Reformation than a revolution. Henry wrested the supremacy 
from the Pope ; but the doctrines, the superstitions, the intolerance, 
the cruelties of Popery were still retained in all their vigor ; 
save as some changeable hue of coloring appeared and vanished 
with some new and uncertain caprice of the king. England 
was cut loose from the Pope ; but the papal supremacy and 
infallibility were transferred to the head of Henry and hi$ suc- 
cessors. In the rites of the church, says Bishop Burnet, " The 
alterations made were inconsiderable, and so slight, that there 
was no need of reprinting either the missals, breviaries, or other 

Let us briefly review the leading particulars which enter into 
the account; and mark the heads of the causes and events 
which detached England from the See of Rome. 

For twenty years after his accession, Henry had continued a 
dutiful son of the Roman Church. He had even suffered the 
laws to slumber, which had been enacted by his predecessors, 
against procuring provisions and bulls, and exercising authority 
from Rome. With his favor and connivance, Cardinal Wolsey 
had received from Rome, and had long exercised, a sovereign 
power over the whole clergy and church of England, contrary to 
the statutes of the realm. The king had added to these powers 
by giving him " full authority to dispose of all ecclesiastical 
benefices in the gift of the crown, with a visitorial power over 
monasteries and colleges, and all his clergy, exempt or not 
exempt." With these powers a new court of justice had been 
erected, called the Legatine Court, which had committed num- 
berless rapines and extortions ; all which doings the king had 
connived at, out of favoritism to Wolsey and zeal for the 

But now the king had become wearied of his queen Catha- 
rine ; and perhaps he sincerely questioned the lawfulness of his 
marriage ; as had already been done by many, and among others, 
by some of the sovereigns of Europe. Both Wolsey and the 


Pope had trifled with him, and delayed him for six years ; and, 
out of purely selfish ends, had thwarted his desires. By other 
means, which it is not to the purpose here to relate, Henry ac- 
complished his ends, was divorced from Catharine, and married 
to Anne Boleyn, the mother of Queen Elizabeth. 

And now for vengeance. Wolsey is entrapped ; having exer- 
cised the office of papal legate, contrary to the statute of Richard 
II. Henry orders his attorney general to put in an information 
against him in the king's bench ; and Wolsey forfeits goods and 
chattels to the king ; is put from under the king's protection, and 
becomes an outlaw. Under these reverses, the haughty cardi- 
nal sickens and dies. And now for the Pope: Henry will 
snatch away his supremacy, make himself head of the English 
Church, and stop the rivers of silver and gold that are flowing 
from England to Rome. 

How can this be done ? How will the clergy, so devoted to 
the papal See, by interest and superstition, how will they bear 
to see the Pope rejected as head of the Church, and a profane 
layman installed in his place ? In this way : the clergy, out of 
reverence to the Pope, encouraged by the king, and compelled 
by Wolsey, have yielded to Wolsey's legatine authority, con- 
trary to the statute : and have incurred the pains and forfeitures 
of a premunire. They must submit to the king's terms, or their 
vast domains, if not their liberty or life, must pay the forfeit. 

The king assumes the supremacy over the Church. By pro- 
clamation, he forbids all persons to purchase anything at Rome, 
under the severest penalties. As he expected, the clergy begin 
to rouse themselves up for resistance. The king causes an in- 
dictment to be preferred against them at Westminster Hall, and 
obtains judgment under the statute of premunire; whereby the 
whole body of the clergy have forfeited all their goods and chat- 
tels, and are out of the king's protection. They must yield either 
to the king or to ruin. They buy his pardon on condition of 
paying into his treasury an immense sum of money, and of ac- 
knowledging the king as sole and supreme head of the Church of 
England; yet with the saving clause, " so far as is agreeable to 
the laws of Christ." But what was this saving clause when the 
king was sole judge of what was agreeable to the laws of 
Christ ? The clause itself was soon thrown aside, and the king's 
supremacy confirmed by parliament and convocation. 

And what was this supremacy ? First, it was to have and en- 
joy all the dignities, immunities and commodities which had 
formerly gone to the Pope. Secondly, the king was invested 
with the sole power of establishing, ordering or reforming all 
things connected with doctrine, worship, heresy or error. What- 
ever power had been usurped by synods, councils and popes ; 


lordship over doctrine, ceremonies, worship ; lordship over the 
interpretation of Scripture, and over the consciences and private 
judgment of all men in the realm ; all was given into the 
hands of the king. Such was the tenor of the Act of Supremacy 
passed by the Parliament. 

The Bishops " took out new commissions from the crown, in 
which all their episcopal authority was expressly affirmed to be 
derived from the civil magistrate, and to be entirely dependent 
on his good pleasure." 

A new oath of allegiance was imposed, in which all the peo- 
ple were made to swear that the bishop of Rome had no more 
power than any other bishop in his diocese ; and that they would 
submit to all the king's laws, notwithstanding any censures from 
the Pope. 

The parochial clergy thus submitting to the king were taken 
into favor. But England was full of monks , friars and monaste- 
ries^ possessed of vast revenues and domains. These had been 
in great measure independent both of the bishops and the civil 
power. Their sympathies were wholly with Rome. The 
monks and friars began to complain. In some places they ex- 
cited the people to insurrections, and endeavored to embroil the 
affairs of the kingdom with foreign princes. 

The king knew well how to take vengeance on these. As 
head of the Church he appoints a general visitation of the mon- 
asteries, and commits the work to the Lord Cromwell as Visitor- 
General. Several abbots and priors surrender their houses into 
the king's hands. Others are examined ; and the grossest frauds, 
impostures, and debaucheries, are brought to light. Their pre- 
tended relics are exposed and destroyed. These were innumera- 
ble ; among others, " The Virgin Mary's milk, showed in eight 
places ; the coals that roasted St. Lawrence ; one wing of the 
angel that brought over the head of the spear that pierced the 
Saviour's side ; the rood of grace, so contrived by springs and 
pulleys that the lips might move upon occasion." The images 
of a great many pretended saints were taken down and burnt ; 
and all the rich offerings made at their shrines, seized for the 
crown. The lesser monasteries, to the number of two hundred,' 
were suppressed. The greater monasteries soon shared their 

While Henry was busied in transferring to himself the supre- 
macy and emoluments of the Pope, the doctrines of the Reform- 
ation were taking root in England. The dungeon and the 
faggot were the arguments on which the Sing and prelates 
relied for putting down the rising heresy. Some were cited into 
the bishops' courts for teaching their children the Lord's prayer 
in English ; some for reading forbidden books ; some for not 


coming to confession and mass ; some for not observing the 
Church fasts. Of these, many through the fear of death did pen- 
ance and were dismissed. But such as refused to abjure, or 
after abjuration relapsed, were burnt at the stake. Many fled 
into foreign lands. Among these was Tyndal, who, with others, 
took refuge at Antwerp. These men employed the pen and 
the press in exposing the corruptions of Rome. They wrote 
against images, relics, and pilgrimages. They insisted on. justi- 
fication by faith alone, in opposition to justification by priestly 
absolutions, penances, fasts, flagellations, donations to churches, 
and other works to merit the divine favor. Their books 
came to England, and made converts everywhere. But the 
mightiest engine of the Reformers was TyndaVs translation of the 
New Testament, printed at Antwerp, A. D. 1527. 

Against this translation the king and bishops were incensed 
to the utmost. While others are spending their rage in deeds 
of violence, Tonstal, bishop of London, must needs try his hand 
at a stroke of policy. He gives secret orders to buy up all the 
copies that can be found at Antwerp ; and collecting a vast 
number, burns them publicly at Cheapside. A fine device, 
truly, to stop the press by buying up its productions! The first 
edition was marred with many inaccuracies, which Tyndal 
longed to correct ; but he was too poor to throw aside the first 
edition and print another. What better service could the bishop 
of London perform, than to buy up the whole and burn them ; 
and thus furnish the Reformer with funds to print more and 
better ? 

The burning of the Bibles shocked the minds of the common 
people. They could not understand the righteousness of burn- 
ing the Word of God. The Reformation spread the more 
rapidly ; the prisons became more crowded ; the fires burnt with 
greater frequency. 

The whole Bible was translated by Tyndal, assisted by Miles 
Coverdale and by John Rogers, the first martyr of Queen Mary's 
reign. This was printed at Hamburg in 1532; and greatly 
.helped to press forward the swelling tide of the Reformation. 
At length, so great was the progress of popular sentiment, and 
such the genial influence of Cranmer upon the bigoted king, 
that the Convocation debated the question of translating the 
Bible, and allowing it to be read in the vulgar tongue. The 
majority of the clergy were opposed to it ; and their arguments, 
says Hume, wou^l probably have prevailed in the Convocation, 
had it not been for the authority of Cranmer, Latimer, and some 
other bishops, who were supposed to speak the king's sense of 
the matter. 

Tyndal, the Translator, had now been put to death as a heretic 


for his agency in that work. His Bible had been proscribed, and 
men burned for reading it. But Cranmer, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, now took the translation of Tyndal, and revising it, leaving 
out the prologue and notes, and adding a preface of his own, set 
it forth as a true translation of the Word of God. 

In A.D. 1538, the work was printed at Paris. The king would 
only allow copies of it to be deposited in some parish churches, 
where they were fastened by chains. And he took care to inform 
the people by proclamation, " That his indulgence was not the 
effect of his duty, but of his goodness and his liberality to them, 
who should therefore use it moderately, for the increase of virtue, 
not of strife. And he ordered that no man should read the Bible 
aloud, so as to disturb the priest while he sang mass ; nor pre- 
sume to expound doubtful places without help from the learned." 

But with the Bible, even though it were chained in the 
churches, if it were allowed to be read by the people at all, how 
could the doctrines of Popery maintain their ground ? From 
this moment, the light which had gleamed so faintly, began to 
increase to the dawn of morning. Soon the system of Popery 
and the doctrines of the Reformation began to conflict in the 
pulpits. Could men be saved by the use of holy water, ghostly 
absolution, extreme unction, and the Eucharist ; or must holy- 
principles, deep repentance, a living faith, renew and transform 
the soul ? Is salvation of works and priestly offices ; or is it of 
grace, and by faith alone ? Is Christianity a religion of forms 
and incantations, or is it a religion of the heart ? So opposite 
were the two schemes, and so earnest the conflict, that the king 
forbade all preaching, till himself, as head of the Church, could 
set forth the scheme of doctrine in which all should be required 
to agree. 

The king himself drew up the articles, to which both houses 
of Convocation gave their assent as a matter of course. In this 
system of doctrine, Popery and the Reformation were made to 
mingle their discordant elements, and alternately shared the 
several articles of faith. First, the Scripture, with three ancient 
creeds, the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian, were 
made the standard of belief without the traditions or decrees of 
the Pope. 

Justification by Faith, not for any merit or work done by us, 
but for the merits of the blood and passion of the Lord Jesus 
Christ alone ; in the next breath, auricular confession and 
penance, are enjoined as essential to salvation. 

Marriage, extreme unction, confirmation, and orders, were no 
longer mentioned as sacraments ; on the other hand, the people 
were required to believe that in the sacrament of the altar, un- 


der the form of bread, there was truly and substantially present 
the same body of Christ that was born of the Virgin." " The 
Catholics prevailed," says Hume, " in asserting the use of images ; 
the Protestants in warning the people against idolatry." People 
were still taught to pray to the saints. The prescribed ceremo- 
nies of worship were to be regarded as not only good and law- 
ful, but as possessing a mystic signification and power. Such 
was the use of priestly vestments, holy water, " bearing candles 
on Candlemas day ; giving ashes on Ash Wednesday; bearing 
palms on Palm Sunday ; creeping to the cross on Good Friday ; 
hallowing the fount, and other exercises and benedictions." 

The article on Purgatory, says Hume, " contains the most 
curious jargon, ambiguity, and hesitation, arising from the mix- 
tures of the two tenets : the people were to believe it good and 
charitable to pray for the souls of the departed ; but since the 
place they were in, and the pain they suffered, were uncertain by 
Scripture, people ought to remit them to God's mercy. There- 
fore all abuses of the doctrine ought to be put away, and. the 
people disengaged from believing that Popish masses, or pray- 
ers, said in certain places and before certain images, could 
deliver souls out of purgatory." 

In the meantime the Pope was endeavoring to spirit up the 
people and clergy to rebellion ; but not succeeding in this, he 
fulminated his sentence of excommunication against the whole 
kingdom ; declared the king destitute of any title to the crown ; 
forbade his subjects to obey him, and all princes to correspond 
with him. The clergy were commanded to depart from the 
kingdom, and the nobility to rise in arms against the king. For 
all this the king took ample vengeance on the adherents of 
the Pope, and pushed on the Reformation with great vigor. 
He enjoined it upon the clergy to publish twice a quarter 
that the Pope's power was usurped, and without authority 
of Scripture ; to exhort the people to teach their children the 
Lord's prayer, the Creed, and the Commandments, in English; 
and ordered that every incumbent should explain these, one 
article a day, till the people were instructed in them. Thus 
the very things, for which so many of the followers of Wickliffe 
and Luther had been burnt, were now enjoined by authority of 
the king. 

A book was now put forth by the command of the king, entitled 
called THE BISHOPS' BOOK, having been composed by Cranmer, 
the bishops of London, Winchester, Chichester, Norwich, Ely, 
Latimer, bishop of Worcester, and the bishops of Salisbury, Here- 
ford, St. Davids, and some other divines. This book contained 
an explanation of the Lord's prayer, the Creed, the Sacraments, 


the commandments, the Ave Maria, the doctrines of justification 
and purgatory, according to the theology of the times. 

One thing is worthy of notice, as showing that the modern 
notion of the Divine right of Bishops, as an order superior to 
Presbyters, was not then even dreamed of by the heads of the 
* Church of England. This book, " The Institution of a Chris- 
tian man," declares that " In the New Testament there is no 
mention made of any degrees or orders but only of Deacons (or 
ministers) and of PRIESTS (or Bishops) ;" thus renouncing all 
claim of Divine authority for more than two orders of clergy. 
This book was subscribed by the two archbishops, by nineteen 
bishops, by the lower house of Convocation ; and was put forth 
with the whole authority of the Church and the king, its acknow- 
ledged head. 

The careful manner in which the opinions of this book were 
drawn up, is worthy of notice. A committee of the highest dig- 
nitaries of the Church, and of the most learned divines in the 
kingdom was previously called to sit and deliberate upon mat- 
ters of religion. The topics which they were to examine were 
divided into heads and proposed in questions. These were 
given out to the bishops arid divines, and at a set time every one 
brought in his opinion in writing on all the heads. Then all 
conferred on points of difference until they were able to agree an 
something to lay before the Convocation. One of these confer- 
ences was held in 1537, or 1538 ; and one of the papers drawn 
up was entitled " A Declaration of the functions and Divine in- 
stitution of Bishops and Priests" This paper, signed by Cran- 
rner and a large number of bishops and priests, contains the fol- 
lowing passage : " In the New Testament, there is no mention 
made of any degrees or distinction in orders, but only of Deacons 
(or ministers) and Priests (or bishops) ;" thus deliberately deny- 
ing the existence of more than two orders of permanent Church 
officers in the New Testament ; and making bishops and pres- 
byters identical. Again in 1540, a commission sitting with 
Cranmer at their head, declared, says Bishop Burnet, " That the 
Scripture makes express mention of only two orders, Priests and 

Three years after this, another book was published, entitled 
by the king's hand, and approved by the parliament as the au- 
thoritative faith of the nation. This book likewise asserts that 
Bishops and Priests are of the same order, and limits the num- 
ber of scriptural Church officers to two orders, Bishops (or 
Priests) and Deacons. 

Here, perhaps, I ought to notice a singular statement made in 
a recent work on Episcopacy, entitled " A view of the or- 


ganization and order of the Primitive Church ;"* a work widely 
and earnestly circulated and extolled by the advocates of Epis- 
copacy in this quarter. This book also quotes these passages 
concerning the two orders, from the " Institution " and from the 
" Erudition of a Christian man ;" but maintains that Cranmer 
and his coadjutor were not Reformers when they penned these 
documents ; and that to quote them as evidence of what the Re- 
formers thought, " is gross misrepresentation." Indeed, the au- 
thor of this work earnestly argues that when Cranmer and his 
coadjutors were Reformers, in the days of King Edward, they 
were of another opinion, and maintained the Divine right of 
Bishops as above Presbyters. The statements in the "Institution " 
and the " Erudition" he says, " were the opinions of these men 
as Romanists, and not as Reformers; and the man who quotes 
them as such, is either too IGNORANT to write, or too DISHONEST 
to be trusted."^ 

It so happens that the learned and celebrated Stillingfleet, 
more than a century ago, had occasion to refer to the opinions 
of the Reformers upon these points ; and not only maintained, 
but proved, by a reference to original manuscript documents, 
the best of all possible evidence, that the views of the Reformers 
were precisely these, and that too at the brightest point of the 

Says Stillingfleet, " I doubt not to make it evident, that before 
these late unhappy times, the main grounds for settling 1 Episcopal 
government in the nation, WAS NOT ACCOUNTED ANY PRETENCE OF 
DIVINE RIGHT, but the coNVENiENCY of that form of government 
to the state of this Church at the time of its Reformation" And 
here he says, " I meddle not with the times of Henry VIIL, when 
I will not deny but the first quickening of the Reformation might 
be; I date the birth of it from the first settlement of that most 
excellent prince Edward VI." Then passing by the times of 
Henry VIIL, into the times of the undoubted Reformation, he 
points out the steps by which the lower house of the Convocation 
obtained liberty of proceeding in the work of Reformation : for 
otherwise the law forbade them to agitate the question. He 
gives the petitions at length. He relates how a select assembly 
of bishops and divines were gathered at Windsor Castle, by 
King Edward's special order, to digest matters preparatory to a 
thorough Reformation. Here were Cranmer, Archbishop of Can- 
terbury, the Archbishop of York, the Bishops of Rochester, Lon- 
don, Carlisle, and others of the most distinguished of the reform- 

* By A. B. Chapin. 

t These passages had been so quoted by Dr. Dwight in his Theology, and by Dr. 
Hawes, in his " Tribute to the memory of the Pilgrims ;" I know not to whom else 
these savory epithets may be considered as having a designed and special reference. 


ing divines. They followed the same course as the committee 
in the time of Henry VIII. : each one giving his opinion in writ- 
ing, on several questions previously propounded to all; and 
when all was agreed upon, the result was recorded in Cranmer'' s 
own hand. From that manuscript of Cranmer, Stillingfleet copies 
the evidence in question. I can give only a small part, and refer 
those who would see it in its whole extent, to Stillingfleet's 
" Irenicum," where it is to be found. 

Question 10. " Whether bishops or priests were first; and 
if the priest^ then the priest made the bishop ?" Answer. " The 
bishops and priests were at one time, and were not two things, but 
one office in the beginning of the Christian religion" 

Question 1 1. " Whether a bishop hath authority to make a 
priest^ by Scripture, or no ; and whether any other, but only a 
bishop, may make a priest ?" Answer. " A bishop may make a 
priest, by the Scripture^ and so may princes and governors also, 
by that authority God committed to them; and THE PEOPLE ALSO BY 
ELECTION." " For as we read that bishops have done it, so 
Christian emperors have done it. And THE PEOPLE, before 
Christian princes were, COMMONLY DID ELECT their bishops and 

Question 12. " Whether in the New Testament be required 
any CONSECRATION of a bishop or priest, or only appointing to 
the office be sufficient ? Answer. " In the New Testament to be 
a bishop or priest medeth no consecration, by the Scripture : for 
ELECTION or APPOINTING is sufficient" 

Question 14. " Whether it be for ef ended by Gods law that if 
it is so fortuned that all the bishops and priests were dead, and that 
the Word of God should be unpreached, the sacrament of baptism 
and others unministered, that the king of that region should make 
bishops and priests to supply the same, or no ?" Answer. " It is 
not against Gods law ; but contrary indeed they oughPso to do ; 
and there be histories that witness that some Christian princes and 
other laymen unconsecrated have done the same" 

To these declarations Cranmer subscribed his own hand, with 
the affirmation, " THIS is MY OPINION AT THE PRESENT. Thomas 

Stillingfleet goes on to accumulate evidence upon evidence, 
showing how long, and on what high authority, the same view 
was held in the Church of England. He goes through the days 
of Queen Elizabeth, and shows that in the articles of religion 
agreed upon respecting the English form of Church govern- 
ment, that form was only described as being " agreeable " 
[meaning not contradictory] " to God's Word." " Which had 
been," says Stillingfleet, " a very low and diminishing expres- 
sion, had they looked upon it as absolutely prescribed and deter- 


mined in scripture." He continues : " The first who appeared 
in vindication of the English hierarchy was Archbishop Whit- 
gift" [in the latter part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth], "whom 
we cannot suppose either ignorant of the sense of the Church of 
England, or afraid, or unwilling to defend it." Yet he frequently 
(against Cartwright) asserts, " That the form of discipline is not 
particularly and by name set clown in Scripture :" and again,- 
" No kind of government is expressed in the word or can necessa- 
rily be concluded from them :" which he repeats, over and over 
again ; " No form of Church government is by the Scripture pre- 
scribed to, or commanded in the Church of God." Stillingfleet 
goes on to show the same from Dr. Cosins, Dr. Lowe, Bishop 
Bridges ; and adds, " They who please to consult the 3d book 
of the learned and JUDICIOUS Master HOOKER'S Ecclesiastical 
Polity, may see the MUTABILITY of the form of Church govern- 
ment largely asserted and fully proved." 

Indeed the Hierarchy found it impossible to defend themselves 
against the Puritans on any other ground. The Puritans showed, 
not only that there is no authority for the Episcopacy, but that 
the Word of God gives directions on the subject of Church 
government, inconsistent with that scheme. The advocates of 
the Hierarchy uniformly asserted the authority of the civil gov- 
ernment, or of the Church, to establish or change the form of 
Church polity, according to circumstances. " Yea," says Stilling- 
fleet, " this is so plain and evident to have been the chief opinion 
of the divines of the Church of England, that. Parker" [the Puri- 
tan] " looks upon it as one of the main foundations of the Hier- 
archy, and sets himself might and main to oppose it." 

" If we come still lower," says Stillingfleet, "to the time of king 
James, his majesty himself declared it in print as his judgment, 
that " It is granted to every Christian king, prince, and common- 
wealth, to "prescribe within its own jurisdiction, that external form 
of church government, which approaches as much as possible to 
its own form of civil administration." But we cannot delay here 
even to enumerate the additional items of the abundant proof 
which Stillingfleet adduces. Those who will consult his " Ireni- 
cum" will perceive that his proof is absolute demonstration of the 
position, that the Reformers of the Church of England, and their 
successors for a long course of years, rested the warrant for the 
Episcopal office and jurisdiction, not upon any pretence of divine 
right; but upon grounds by which, to adopt the language of 
Stillingfleet), " The divine right of Episcopacy, as founded upon 
apostolical practice, is quite subverted and destroyed" 

I know not how it is, that in the face of all this array of facts, 
the writer in question, in his " PRIMITIVE CHURCH," has been led 
into the error of saying, that in the Erudition of a Christian man 


(published in the reign of Henry VIIL), " is THE LAST THAT WE 
HEAR OF THAT OPINION," viz., that Bishops, as above Presby- 
ters, were not originally of divine right ; but that Bishops and 
Priests were of the same order. 

To proceed with the narrative : The " Necessary Erudition 
of a Christian man" became the standard doctrine of the Church 
of England ; for by Statute it had been enacted, " That all de- 
crees and ordinances, which shall be made and ordained by the 
Archbishops and doctors, and shall be published with the king's 
advice and confirmation by his letters patent, in and upon matters 
of Christian faith, and lawful rites and ceremonies ; shall be in 
every point thereof obeyed and performed, to all intents and 
purposes." Thus the Parliament had given to the king the pre- 
rogatives of infallibility, and bound themselves and the kingdom 
to receive upon trust, without question or examination, what- 
ever dogmas or ceremonies the king and prelates should be 
pleased to establish. 

It was indeed provided that nothing should be established 
contrary to the laws and statutes of the realm ; but this was at 
that period no defence, and was only introduced to serve the 
king's purposes. " By introducing confusion and contradiction 
into the laws," says Hume, " he became more master of every 
man's property. Room was left for the civil courts tp interfere 
with the ecclesiastical, whenever it became a question what 
ecclesiastical requisitions were contrary to the laws and statutes 
of the realm. What the king meant as an instrument of tyranny, 
became, in the lapse of time, one of the strongest defences against 
ecclesiastical oppression." 

But no Institution or Erudition^ no laws, imprisonments or 
burnings, sufficed to repress the rising Reformation. The more 
effectually to accomplish this end Henry now caused the law to 
be passed commonly known under the name of the BLOODY 
STATUTE ; informing his parliament " That it was his majesty's 
earnest desire, to extirpate from his kingdom all diversity of 
opinion in matters of religion." There were certain points 
which answered the purpose of a Shibboleth, to sift those who 
happened to be tinctured with Protestant views; and against 
these the six articles of the Bloody Statute were aimed. The 
1st declared, that after the consecration of the elements in the 
Lord's Supper, there remains no longer bread, but the real natu- 
ral body of Christ. 

The 2d maintained the necessity of communion in one kind 

The 3d insisted upon the celibacy of the clergy. 

The 4th upon the perpetual obligations of vows of chastity. 



The 5th, the benefit of private masses j and the 6th the neces- 
sity of auricular confession. 

" If any did speak, preach, or write" against the 1st, they 
should be judged heretics and burnt without any benefit of ab- 
jurations. Their real and personal estate was forfeit to the 
king. Those who should preach or dispute against the other 
articles were to suffer death as felons, without benefit of clergy ; 
and those, who either in word or writing declared against the 
articles, were to be imprisoned during the king's pleasure, for- 
feit goods and chattels for the first offence, and for the second, 
suffer death ; " An unheard of severity," says Hume, " and un- 
known to the Inquisition itself." 

It was not long before five hundred persons were in prison, 
under the operation of this statute ; but so great was the influ- 
ence of Cranmer and Cromwell that these were pardoned. Lati- 
mer spoke against the act, and was imprisoned till the king's 
death. Shaxton, bishop of Salisbury, spoke against the article, 
and resigned ; but being threatened with fire, he turned apostate ; 
and in the days of Queen Mary, proved a cruel persecutor. 

To complete the system of despotism under which England 
groaned, the same parliament gave to the king's 'proclamation 
the force of the statute law : and, " What proves," says Hume, 
" either a stupid or a wilful blindness in the parliament is, that 
even after this statute, they pretended to maintain some limita- 
tion in the government. To fill up the measure of their treason 
against justice and right, they passed an attainder against six- 
teen persons who had become obnoxious to the king's dislike ; 
some under pretence of their having denied the king's supre- 
macy ; and others without mention of any crime ; persons who 
had never been convicted ; no, nor brought to trial ; no, nor 
ever arraigned or formally accused. They were condemned and 
destroyed, -without accusation, trial, or defence, -by a sove- 
reign act of parliament ! 

While the king waged this exterminating warfare against Pro- 
testants, he was equally violent against the partizans of the 
Pope ; so that a stranger who was in England at the time, was 
not far from the truth when he remarked, that " Those who were 
against the Pope were burned, and those who were for him were 

But how could popish doctrines be maintained by dungeons 
and faggots, while the Bible was left to speak to the people ? 
The BIBLE was at length discovered to be the GREAT ARCH- 
HERETIC, after all; and like other heretics, if it could not be 
silenced, it must be burned. There were indeed only five hun- 
dred copies of the Bible in the common tongue, known to be in 
the whole realm : for that was the extent of the impression. 


These were chained in the churches, and few people could read, 
yet those few could read to their neighbors, and their neighbors 
could tell what they had heard. Henry perceived that the Bible 
was no more compatible with his despotism over the understand- 
ing and the conscience of the people, than it was with the despot- 
ism of the Pope. 

Accordingly the Bible was by statute forbidden to be read in 
English in any church. No woman, or artificer, or apprentices, 
journeymen, husbandmen, or laborers, "were to read the New 
Testament in English. If any spiritual person should be con- 
victed of maintaining anything contrary to the king's instructions 
already made, he should for the first offence recant ; for the 
second bear a faggot ; for the third be burned." 

Thus stood the Reformation in England, when Henry was 
summoned away by death on the 28th of January, A. D. 1547. 

England was severed from the Popedom, with immense gain 
to its prosperity and political independence. It was indeed a 
mighty movement to transfer the supremacy of the Church from 
the Pope to the king; as no superstitious reverence belonged to 
the latter, such as kept the people in abject subjection to the 
infallibility and ghostly power of the former. But for the present, 
nothing was gained for civil or religious freedom. The English 
had lost in both these respects. But Henry could not live for ever. 
The seeds of truth, which he vainly strove to suppress, had taken 
root ; and in the next age they began to yield their fruit. The 
laws which he designed for the purpose of establishing his tyran- 
nical power, and of crushing the Reformation, afforded in the 
next age the means of pushing forward the Reformation with 
greater rapidity than the natural progress of truth. Of course, 
things were ready for a re-action in the next succeeding age ; 
and the same supremacy, with the same laws enacted to sustain 
it, gave the bloody Mary power to carry England back once more 
to the bosom of Rome. So impotent is power to resist the pro- 
gress of truth : so useless is violence to push forward reform 
faster than the truth itself makes progress. 

Had the Church been severed from the State ; with the Word 
of God, aside from tradition s the sole standard of faith and duty : 
had the hierarchy that excrescence upon the simple institutions 
of Christ, not been in existence ; had the people been free to 
follow the Word of God, calling," no man master," how swiftly, 
and how surely would the Reformation have spread over Eng- 
land ! What untold sorrows ; what tears ; what burnings and 
blood might have been spared ! Had it not been for the obstruc- 
tion of hierarchical power, and Church authority and traditmn, 
how many times would the incipient Reformation, which so 
often broke out in Italy, in France, and in Spain, have gone 


on to its completion ! But the Inquisition, and the sword, though 
they could not resist the arguments of the witnesses, could yet 
destroy the witnesses themselves. Let the people guard their 
rights. Let them distrust the wisdom and kindness of those 
who would bring in the traditions, and ceremonies, and formula- 
ries of a usurping hierarchy,- as a safer bulwark of their liber- 
ties than the simple Word of God. THE WORD OF GOD ; with no 
bond upon the conscience ; no impediment upon the judgment, 
to compel men to interpret it according to the decisions of a pre- 
tended Catholic tradition ; this is the BEST FRIEND 6r FREEDOM 
and of the rights of man ; this is the best, the only divine bul- 
wark, of the truth. Let it be for Prelates and Popes to decry 
the exercise and even the right of private judgment, and to pro- 
claim a human production, >a prayer book as a safer standard 
than the Word of God. Our fathers have taught us to " count 
nothing 1 old that will not stand by the Word of God ; and nothing 1 
new, that will" The Word of God, and no tradition : the Word 
of God, our immediate instructor, with no authoritative interpreter 
between to hush its voice or to enchain our understanding; THE 
WORD OF GOD UNBOUND AND FREE ! this is our principle ; the 
watchword of freedom : the watch-cry of everlasting truth. 



Persecutions stopped. Doctrinal disputes revived. Book of Homilies. 
First service book : revised : never satisfactory to the Reformers. Sup- 
posed necessity of forming such a liturgy as to keep the Popish people 
in the Church. Discrepancy between the Articles and Offices. Prayer 
Book an equivocal standard : fairly quoted by each of two irrecon- 
cileable schemes. The question of a Liturgy. No right anywhere to 
impose one. Imposed not by the Church, but by Parliament and Coun- 
cil. Uniformity enforced. Reforming the Ordinal. Rise of the Puritans. 

EDWARD VI. came to the throne in the 10th year of his age, 
A.D. 1547, seventy-three years before the landing of the Pilgrims 
at Plymouth. 

The directorship of the faith and worship of the kingdom 
having been vested in the crown, it now fell into the hands of the 
Executive council, named by Henry VIIL, and of the young 
king ; who had been trained under instructors selected by Cran- 
mer, and early imbued with the true principles of the gospel. 

By all Protestant authorities, Edward VI. is regarded, for his 
enlightened views, his solid judgment beyond his years, and his 
conscientious regard for righteousness and truth, the wonder 
of his age. He was surrounded by a bright galaxy of Re- 
formers. There was the meek and guileless Cranmer, whom 
the truth and the Spirit of God had led from the darkness of 
Popery to a discovery of the way of life through faith in Christ 
alone ; and yet he had been so gradually led, that he always re- 
tained the confidence of that tyrant monster Henry VIIL, who 
would in an instant have committed him to the flames, had he 
dreamed that his favorite was capable of ever exchanging the 
dogmas of popery for the doctrines of the Reformation. There, 
too, was the venerable and true-hearted Larimer, the zealous 
Hooper, the eloquent Ridley, and John Rogers^ and Miles 
Coverdale ; of whom the last three had been among those who 
fled into exile for conscience' sake, in the reign of Henry ; nd 
who were now welcomed back to their native land. There were 
also many others whose names are to be had in high honor by 


all who love the truth as it is in Jesus, and who know what the 
true gospel and religious liberty are worth. 

These were good men and true Reformers ; still they were 
men, and were surrounded with difficulties. Many of the great 
principles concerning the proper limit of civil or ecclesiastical 
power, and concerning the rights of conscience, had never been 
discussed. If, therefore, the Reformation was conducted, in some 
measure, on principles inconsistent with itself, that was the fault 
not so much of the Reformers as of the times. If in some re- 
spects they progressed too slowly to suit the more zealous ; if in 
some respects they did not carry the Reformation so far as purity 
in doctrine and worship demanded, they themselves saw and 
deplored it ; and had the times allowed, they would certainly 
have carried the Reformation further. They were by no means 
of the opinion of some at the present day, that all was done 
which a regard for purity in worship demanded ; much less were 
they of the opinion of those who now lament that the Reforma- 
tion was carried too far. 

No sooner was King Henry in his grave than it appeared that 
a majority of those whom he had selected to compose the Execu- 
tive Council during the minority of the young king, were strongly 
in favor of the Reformation; and that majority embraced the 
most important members, with Hereford the Protector, and 
Cranmer the Archbishop of Canterbury, at their head. The 
ample power put into their hands they determined to wield in 
favor of a Reformation, with as much energy as was consistent 
with prudence. 

The persecution under the bloody six Articles, was stopped. 
The prison doors were thrown open. The exiles from the king- 
dom for conscience' sake were recalled. The reforming preachers 
opened their mouths once more. The defenders of Popery 
hurled back their defiance. Ridley preached against images ; 
the people in some places began to remove them from the 
churches. Gardiner raised his voice in defence of the images, 
and vainly tried by legal prosecutions to crush those who 
ventured to destroy them. Ridley decried the use of such things 
as Holy Water, and consecrated candles. Gardiner wrote an 
elaborate " Apology for Holy Water," which he maintained 
" might be made by the divine power, an instrument of much 
good." From the dispute about superstitious instruments and 
observances, the contest descended to the very foundations of 
faith; bringing into conflict the two great opposing schemes, 
Popery and the Reformation ; justification by sacraments, masses, 
absolutions, and ceremonials, or justification by faith alone, to 
the exclusion of all account of any priestly interventions whatever. 
The council determined on a general visitation of all the 


dioceses in the kingdom. The most eloquent and influential of 
the Reforming divines were appointed to accompany the visitors ; 
to preach everywhere the great truths of religion, and to bring 
the people off' from the old superstitions. Thirty-six injunctions 
were sent from the King, to be everywhere observed, requiring, 
among other things, the observance of the laws against the Pope's 
supremacy ; directing the clergy to preach once a quarter against 
pilgrimages and praying to images ; commanding that such 
images as had been abused with pilgrimages and offerings, 
should be taken down ; forbidding processions about church- 
yards and all ringing of bells before high mass, save one ; re- 
quiring all shrines, candlesticks, trindrills, rolls of wax, pictures, 
paintings, and other monuments of feigned miracles to be re- 
moved ; requiring the churches each to be furnished with a Bible 
within three months ; and within twelve months, with Erasmus's 
paraphrase of the New Testament, and enjoining the Bible to be 
read in all the churches. 

A BOOK OF HOMILIES, consisting of twelve discourses on the 
topics most important at the time, and containing a vindication of 
the doctrines of the Reformation, was ordered to be left with every 
parish priest, who was enjoined to read these Homilies to the 

When the Parliament met in 1547, they concurred in the line 
of policy pursued by the Council. The laws against Lollardism 
were repealed. The bloody statute of the six Articles was 
repealed. The Act giving to the King's proclamation the force 
of law, was repealed. This was indeed the dawning of liberty to 
the people of England. 

The Council struck once more at superstitious ceremonies and 
customs ; candles were no longer to be carried on Candlemas 
day ; nor ashes on Ash- Wednesday ; nor palms on Palm Sunday. 
All images were ordered to be removed from the churches. 

These innovations amounted almost to a total change of the 
established religion. Indeed such it was designed to be. It was 
not the ceremony or the image alone that was concerned, but 
in these symbols the whole system of Popery was intended to 
be assailed. But the outward reform was now carried by the 
hand of power beyond the progress of light. The great body of 
the priests and the people had not yet understood the truth ; and 
were not ripe for these external changes. The debate of words 
now began to reach the crisis of violence. The king thereupon 
issued his proclamation requiring these contentions to cease, and 
signifying his intention of soon having one uniform order 
throughout the realm. Till that order could be set forth, all 
manner of persons were forbidden to preach save by special 
license, either in the pulpit or otherwise. 


This was the origin of the first Service book or Liturgy of King 
Edward VI. A committee of divines, with Cranmer at their 
head, were appointed to reform the Offices of the Church. They 
began with the Eucharist. This, instead of a communion or 
commemoration of the death of Christ, had become " A sort of 
mystical ceremony, chiefly for the alleged purpose of delivering 
souls out of purgatory ; and was claimed to be a real propitiatory 
sacrifice and offering of the body and blood of Christ, which the 
priest wrought for the forgiveness of sins." This was now 
changed into a communion in both kinds. In other respects the 
office of the mass was left very much " as it stood." Out of the 
Romish Missals of Sarum, York, Hereford, and Bangor (for Po- 
pery had never required a uniform liturgy in England), they 
compiled the Morning and Evening Service " almost in the same 
form as it stands at present." [Neale.] From the same mate- 
rials they compiled a Litany, " the same now used," except the 
petition to be delivered from the tyranny of the bishop of Rome 
and all his detestable enormities ; which petition, in the review 
of the Liturgy under Queen Elizabeth, was struck out. 

In the ministration of baptism, a cross was to be made on the 
child's forehead and breast : the devil was to be exorcised ; the 
child was to be dipped (not immersed, as some pretend) three 
times in the font : on the right side, on the left, and on the 
breast, if not weak. 

In the office of burial, the soul of the departed was to be recom- 
mended to the mercy of God ; the minister was to pray that the 
sins which he had committed in this world might be forgiven ; 
that he might be admitted into heaven and his body raised at the 
last day. 

By the law of Parliament, all divine offices were to be per- 
formed according to this book from the feast of Whitsunday, 
1549. " Such of the clergy as refused, or officiated in any other 
manner, should, upon the first conviction, suffer six months' im- 
prisonment, and forfeit a year's profit of their benefices. For the 
second conviction, the offender was to forfeit all his church pre- 
ferments, and suffer a year's imprisonment. Such as wrote or 
printed against the Liturgy were to be fined \Q for the first 
offence ; 20 for the second ; and for the third, forfeit all their 
goods and be imprisoned for life." 

The people exhibited great unwillingness to give up their an- 
cient rituals : and to put it out of their power to observe them, 
the clergy were ordered to deliver up the articles which com- 
posed the gear of popish service; such as " antiphonals, missals, 
grails, processionals, legends, portuasses," and other things of 
like sort ; of which we, in our simplicity, at the present day, 
scarcely know the uses or the names. " All who had in their 


houses images that had belonged to any church, were required 
to deface them ; and to dash out of their primers all prayers to 
the saints." 

If worship was to be performed by the use of a prescribed and 
uniform liturgy, the Liturgy now established was probably re- 
formed as far as the times allowed. The Papists would not en- 
dure any more ; the Protestants would not be satisfied with less : 
to suit the exigency of the times the Liturgy was cautiously 
framed, while it was not all that those who framed it desired. 
In L552, it underwent a revision. Some things were added ; 
some that had been retained through the necessity of the times, 
were stricken out. A rubric was added concerning the posture 
of kneeling at the sacrament ; declaring that no adoration was 
intended to the bread and wine ; nor did they think that the very 
flesh and blood of Christ were there present. This was after- 
wards struck out by Queen Elizabeth to give latitude to the Pa- 
pists ; much to the grief of the Puritans : but in the reign of 
Charles II. it was, at their instance, again inserted. Sundry old 
rites which had been retained in the former book were discon- 
tinued, as, the use of oil in confirmation and extreme unction ; 
prayer for the dead ; and the use of the cross in confirmation and 
the eucharist. By this book of common-prayer, " All copes were 
forbidden throughout England; the prebendaries of St. Paul left 
their hoods, and the bishops their crosses" [Strype, in Neale.] " In 
short, the whole liturgy was reduced to the form in which it now 
appears, excepting some small variations that have since been 
made." [Neale.] 

That the Prayer Book contains many^and very great excellen- 
ces, all will readily acknowledge. Its compilers, however, never 
thought of it as a standard, beyond which the Reformation was 
never to advance. On the contrary, they lamented that the state 
of the nation rendered it impracticable to cleanse it further from 
the defilements of Popery. Cranmer was never satisfied with 
the Liturgy ; and designed a thorough alteration, if not an entire 
change ; King Edward was not satisfied with this, or with the 
discipline of the Church, and laments in his diary, that he could 
" not restore the primitive discipline according to his heart's desire, 
because of several of the bishops, some for age, some for igno- 
rance, some out of love to Popery, were unwilling to it." 

The desire for further reformation appears in the sermons of La- 
timer, Hooper, Bradford, and others. John A'Lasco wrote, " that 
King Edward desired that the rites and ceremonies used under 
Popery should be purged out by degrees ; that it was his pleasure 
that strangers should have churches to perform all things accord' 
ing to apostolical observations only, that by this means, the Eng- 
lish churches might be excited to embrace apostolic purity with 


the unanimous consent of the states of the kingdom." It was left 
written in the preface to one of the service books, that " They had 
gone as far as they could in reforming the Church, considering the 
times they lived in, and hoped that they that came after them, 
would, as they might, do more." 

Stillingfleet [Irenicum, p. 58] speaking of the causes which in- 
duced the reformed French churches, in order to please the Pa- 
pists, to insert into their prayer-books "that which men would 
scarcely believe unless they saw it," says, " The same temper was 
used by our reformers in composing our Liturgy, in reference 
to the Papists ; to whom they had an especial eye, as being the 
only party then appearing in the Church, whom they desired to 
draw into their communion by coming as near to them as they well 
and safely could"* 

That this might be good state policy it is not necessary to 
question. Whether such a veering between Popery and the 
Reformation, was likely to secure a liturgy and discipline so pure 
as to satisfy all devout and conscientious men, is quite another 
affair. Certain it is, that the Reformers were not satisfied with 
that Book of Common Prayer, which it is now the custom to extol 
with praises extravagant and almost idolatrous. The articles 
were made such as the Reformers would have them, and are, as 
a system, a noble monument of a pure and enlightened faith. 
The OFFICES of the Prayer-Book, drawn from popish originals, 
and left with the rituals and vestments retaining as much of the 
shape and fashion and savor of Popery as would render them 
not idolatrous ; and so left by the Reformers only for the pre- 
sent, with the hope of further amendment when the limes should 
allow it ; these offices contain many things which it is not hard 
to interpret into a close alliance with Popery itself. They still 
inculcate the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. In the Lord's 
Supper they are not expurgated from the consecrations, the obla- 
tions, and other popish appendages, which left King James so 
much reason to say that it was but " An ill mumbled mass." 

To this origin of the Liturgy, and to this desire of " Keeping 
the popish people in the Church," it is owing as I conceive, 
that the Evangelical and the Tractarian parties in the Episcopal 
Church at the present day, both appeal with so much justice and 
with such entire confidence, to the same Prayer-Book as favoring 

* Indeed in after times, when the Liturgy was finally settled under Elizabeth, this 
design of so arranging the Liturgy and ceremonials as to " keep the popish people in the 
church" was boldly avowed and defended as a matter of necessary policy. Thus 
Maddox, who wrote more than a hundred years ago against Neale's History of the 
Puritans, and afterwards was rewarded with a bishopric, hesitates not to avow that 
" As the nation in general was popish, it plainly appeared an act of great compassion 
to many thousand souls, as well as necessary to the Queens safety, and the success of 
the Reformation, to CONTRIVE, if it were possible, SUCH A FORM OF WORSHIP, without 
idolatry, which might KEEP THE POPISH PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH." 


each of their discordant and irreconcilable schemes. It does so 
favor them. The Reformation was purposely so mingled with 
Popery in that book as to quiet the Protestants if possible, and at 
all events to " keep the popish people in the Church ;" and 
hence its double interpretation ; its " iron mixed with the miry 

The Bishop of Connecticut, in his recent charge, is pleased to 
draw a comparison between that Prayer-Book and the Bible 
alone, as a standard of "faith and worship ;" making the Prayer- 
Book, in spite of its mongrel origin, and its motley compromise 
between the Reformation and Popery a much better and safer 
standard than the Word of God ! He commiserates the lot of 
those who have " the Bible alone" for their " only standard of 
faith" as being possessed of no " sufficient bond of union and 
stability" He anticipates for them nothing but division, error, 
fanaticism, and "ignorance!" He contrasts the Episcopal 
Church with these, as being surrounded by " desolation " " an 
Oasis in the desert ;" and declares that this happy result " has 
been mainly effected " by having " this Book of Common Prayer 


But what bond of union and stability is this Prayer-Book ? 
Never were schemes more diametrically opposed, each so justly 
drawn and so logically defended from the same standard ; and 
that owing to the worldly and wavering policy used in making 
it up. Indeed, why should not the same book blow hot and 
cold now as well as in the days of Q,ueen Elizabeth ? Why 
should it not be able to " keep popish people in the Church," 
now as well as then? See what diversities are existing yes 
conflicting under this bond of union and faith, boasted as so 
much better than the Bible. Mr. Newman, the pillar of Oxford 
Tractarianism, says, that "In the English Church, we shall hard- 
ly find ten or twenty neighboring clergymen who agree together ; 
and that not in the non-essentials of religion ; but as to what are 
its elementary and necessary doctrines, or whether there are any 
necessary doctrines at all; any distinct and definite faith required 
for salvation." Yet all make their appeal to the Prayer-Book. 

Says the Bishop of Ohio, " What the articles and homilies so 
distinctly teach, that system" [Tractarianism] " directly denies ; 
most earnestly condemns, and most indignantly casts away" 

On the other hand, the Bishop of New Jersey responds, " He " 
[Pusey] " is no nearer, on my word, to Rome, than the Liturgy and 
offices of the Church of England and of her sister in America go 
with him" 

The Bishop of Ohio rejoins : " Their mode of representing 
the way of salvation is ANOTHER GOSPEL to us ; another to the 
Church to whose doctrines we are pledged" 


" My confidence in the doctrinal integrity of the Oxford writers 
continues unshaken" responds the Bishop of New Jersey. 

" The difference," replies Bishop Macllvaine, " between this 
divinity and the true divinity for which our Reformers gave them- 
selves to death, is a difference of great VITAL DOCTRINE ; not one 
of doctrine merely, but of the SYSTEM of doctrine from corner- 
stone to roof; a difference which makes so great a gulf between, 
that according to the Oxford divines themselves, it makes the one 
side or the other ANOTHER GOSPEL." " It is little else than popery 
restrained, essentially Romish divinity," " of the house and 
lineage of popery."* 

It is plain that the Prayer-Book speaks Popery in Maryland, 
and Protestantism in Ohio ; according to the authoritative de- 
cision of the respective heads of the Church in those Dioceses : 
while as Bishop Brownell describes these differences, as only 
" slight shades of difference which tincture the views of different 
members of our household of faith" the same book should seem 
to teach in Connecticut a mongrel theology compounded indif- 
ferently of the two. 

It is only by such indifference that these discordant schemes 
can ever be made to cease their conflict. If one system is laid 
down in the Articles, it is no less plain that the Offices contain 
the germ and essence of the other ; and most manfully is this 
maintained and triumphantly established by those who hold the 
system of the Tractarians. The true solution, I apprehend, has 
been given in the origin of the Offices, and in the policy which 
made them what they are. It does seem that in the providence 
of God, these hot contentions are allowed to rise, as if in solemn 
rebuke of the presumption which has dared to set up that Prayer- 
Book in fact as an idol a safer bond of union and stability 
than God's own holy and perfect Word. 

That the Liturgy was framed from the old mass-books, 
whatever reason it may have afforded for reprehension at the 
time, is at the present day no manner of objection. If things 
are good in themselves, they are not to be rejected simply because 
they have been used by Rome. If there were attending evils at 
the time, there was at least this advantage, that those who were 
enamored of Popery would be less offended with the change, 
when they knew that so much of that to which they had been 
accustomed, was retained in the Liturgy which they were now 
required to use. 

Nor was the question of a Liturgy at all the same in that day 
with what it is at present. It had been the custom. A very 

* And yet that same Bishop in a fe\y short months can join with the General 
Convention in a thanksgiving, that all is so united and regular in the Episcopal 


large majority of the clergy were too ignorant to conduct public 
worship without one. It was then, as it is at present, in the 
English Church, that no practical and heartfelt acquaintance 
with vital religion was a requisite qualification for one who was 
to have the care of souls. In a national Church, or in a Church 
which relies on Baptismal regeneration, and gathers its mem- 
bers indiscriminately by " street rows" or parishes, it is mani- 
fest that an attempt to require such qualifications in the priesthood 
must be both futile and absurd. It is a mercy to such a Church 
to have a Liturgy. But in Churches founded on evangelical 
principles, and making a distinction between the pious and the 
profane in gathering their members; -in Churches where in 
addition to the gifts of nature and education, the gifts of grace 
are also required in the ministry, so far as these things may be 
determined by careful scrutiny ; in such Churches the question 
of Liturgy assumes another form. Our most intelligent and 
devoted Churches have not found themselves either shocked or 
starved by the us6 of extemporary prayer. On the contrary, 
they have felt that their devotions were more satisfactorily led ; 
and their varied wants and thanksgivings more appropriately 
uttered. Besides this, it is perhaps one of the very best available 
tests and safeguards of their ministry, that their ministers are to 
lead the devotions of God's people with prayer conceived in their 
own hearts. How difficult for any man long to play the coun- 
terfeit here! How soon the leanness of the minister's heart 
appears to a devout and spiritual people ! What an appalling 
barrier to such as do not love to pray, and who have not acquired 
a facility of leading the devotions of public worship, by habits 
of earnest and frequent prayer ! 

Aside from such considerations, and from the considerations of 
our ever varying circumstances and wants, the question of wor- 
shipping God with or without a Liturgy, is a matter of taste or ex- 
pediency, concerning which individual Churches and ministers 
should be left free to adopt their own course ; rather than a 
question of principle or Obligation about which Christians should 
ever contend. 

But if any pretend a right to impose a Liturgy upon individual 
Churches or ministers, that right we deny. We know no 
Catholic, national, provincial, or diocesan authority, which has 
the right to make such an imposition. We question both the 
imposition and the pretended authority. The power assumed is 
a usurpation both of the authority of God and of the rights of 
man ; and the thing imposed under penalty of exclusion from 
the ministry, of excommunication (and in the case of the Puri- 
tans, by fines, imprisonments, or banishment) is a sheer human 
invention. With our Puritan ancestors we deny the right 


of any human authority to impose rites, ceremonies and Litur- 
gies, as a necessary part of the public worship of God. 

if an appeal be made to antiquity, as though we had aban- 
doned ancient or apostolic usage ; then we affirm, 1st, that the 
present Liturgies and forms make no pretence to Apostolical 
rise or institution ; 2d, we deny that a Liturgy at all, is any- 
thing more than a corruption of the simplicity of primitive and 
apostolic times ; and 3d, we affirm that the liberty is perfect 
(even if the duty be not plain) of rejecting all imposed rites and 
ceremonies for the worship of God, which are not ordered by 
the only authoritative rule, his holy and perfect Word. 

The authority which framed and imposed the English Liturgy 
was the Council and Parliament : the STATE AND NOT THE 
CHURCH. It was not laid before the Convocation, nor any repre- 
sentative body of the clergy. Its origin was neither Divine nor 

Uniformity being now established by law, and rigidly enforced, 
the civil and ecclesiastical authorities set themselves to the fur- 
ther guarding of that uniformity and to the suppression of alleged 
heresies. The dreadful excess of the Anabaptists in Germany, had 
caused their very name to be regarded with alarm and horror by the 
governments of Europe. In the previous reign, some who were 
charged with the name and doctrines of Anabaptism, were seized 
and burned for that offence. I know of no evidence that they 
were justly chargeable with the impious and horrid principles of 
those who had heretofore been known by the name of Anabap- 
tists. They might have been simple-hearted and devout Chris- 
tians, good subjects ; holding only the peculiarities of the present 
Baptists. And the history of these shows, that they have, as a 
people, ever stood for religious freedom, and for the Word of 
God alone as of any authority in matters of religion. Though 
they have not generally shared in the honor, they shared largely 
in the perils of the Reformation. In the fundamental principles 
of their creed, in their worship and discipline, and in their 
struggle for religious and civil freedom, they too were among 
the Puritans. 

People of this persuasion now began to appear in some num- 
bers in England, and agreed with many others in their reluc- 
tance to conform to the established ceremonies and Liturgy. A 
commission was appointed to " Examine and search after all 
Anabaptists, heretics, or contemners of common prayer," whom 
they were authorized, if they could not reclaim them, to excom- 
municate, imprison, and finally to deliver them to the secular 
arm. In what respect did this commission differ from the 
Inquisition ? " People had generally thought," says Neale "that 


all the Statutes for burning had been repealed ; but they were 
now told that heretics were to be burned by the common law" 

How strange, that such good men as Cranmer and his co- 
adjutors could ever be so blinded as to engage in such cruelties ! 
How slowly may the minds even of good men come to the 
light ! and how long it takes one simple principle^ not of mercy 
and compassion, but of R.IGHT, to force its way through the 
opposing prejudices of old customs and old opinions, into the 
general conviction of the wise and good ! 

It has been alleged against Calvin, and many have delight- 
ed to repeat it, that " Calvin burnt Servetus" Calvin did 
indeed take an active part in conducting the prosecution, and 
Servetus was condemned, not simply for heresy, nor for assaults 
upon Christianity, but for what was in that day judged to be 
blasphemy, in that, among other things, he had called One 
God in three persons a Cerberus, a three-headed monster. The 
cantons of Berne, Zurich and Shaff hausen, to wliom the case 
was referred, replied that Servetus should be punished. The 
gentle Melancthon partook so much of the error of the times, 
as to approve the sentence of the magistrate. Farel approved 
of it. Beza defended the sentence. When the court of Ge- 
neva pronounced the sentence of burning, Calvin earnestly 
and importunately begged that the mode of punishment might 
be changed to a milder death : but the court refused to yield. 

It was a horrid deed. And now a similar one, yet more 
horrid in its details, is to be recorded of that pattern of meekness 
and gentleness, the pure-minded and upright Cranmer. There 
was a woman named Joan Bocher, who had been seized as an 
Anabaptist, but whose only crime seemed to be the holding of 
some strange but harmless notions concerning the manner of 
our Lord's incarnation. To us her notions are a mere confused 
jargon ; in that day they were judged heresy. " She had been 
known," says Strype, " as a great reader of the Scriptures her- 
self ; which book she dispersed in court." " she used, for the 
more secresy, to tie the books with strings under her apparel, 
and so pass with them into court." " By so doing, she had 
jeoparded her life to bring others to a knowledge of God's 
Word." But neither her excellent character nor her devoted 
piety could save her. She was condemned to the stake. The 
king thought it wrong and horrible. He refused to sign her 
death-warrant. Cranmer was deputed by the council to over- 
come his scruples. The youthful king, in reverence to the 
authority of the archbishop, submitted ; but with tears solemnly 
declared, that if he did wrong, since it was in submission to 
Cranmer's authority, Cranmer should answer it to God. Even 
Cranmer shuddered. He and Ridley took the woman to their 


houses, and tried every argument to induce her to give up her 
opinions ; but after nearly a year's delay she was committed to 
the flames. One other person and only one suffered in this 
manner during this reign. Would that even such a bloody 
record might never have stood in connection with such venerable 
and beloved names ! 

Banner and Gardiner refusing to discharge the duties of their 
bishoprics according to the new order of things, were deprived ; 
and afterwards, for political offences, imprisoned ; but it deserves 
to be recorded that not one single Romanist suffered death from 
the hands of the Reformers. Cranmer and his coadjutors appear 
to have seen at length the horrid wickedness of burning people 
for heresy ; for in revising the Canon law under act of Parlia- 
ment, which revision was mostly by the hand of Cranmer the 
punishment of death was no longer to be inflicted. Even then 
they had not discovered the important principle that no human 
power has any right to inflict pains or penalties for such alleged 
offences ; and that the utmost prerogative of the Church, is to 
exclude the heretic from her pale. The revised law, which, 
however, never took effect, the king dying before he could affix 
his seal. required that the heretic should be " Declared infamous, 
incapable of public trust, or of being witness in any court or of 
having power to make a will." Such Was the light of those 

By act of Parliament, the work of reforming the ORDINAL, 
or forms for ordaining ministers, was given into the hands of 
six Prelates and six divines, to be named by the king, and 
whatever they should arrange and the king should seal with the 
great seal, was to have the authority of law. I notice the author- 
ity by which this was done, as another instance of the way in 
which the Reformation was carried on, and in which the entire 
service book was framed and established. It was not by the 

In the revised Ordinal, such offices as subdeacons, readers, 
acolytes, &c., were dispensed with ; and the gloves, the sandals, 
the mitre, the ring and the crosier were left out. The anointing, 
the arraying in consecrated vestments, and the delivering of ves- 
sels for consecrating the elements in the Eucharist, were also 

* Chapin, in his "Primitive Church" has a chapter entitled "THE ENGLISH 
REFORMATION CANONICAL." That may be so, for aught I care to dispute, and 
must be so, if it be " Canonical" for the church to be the mere creature of the State, 
and to suffer the civil power authoritatively to frame, fix, establish, and alter at its 
pleasure, her ceremonies of worship, her liturgy, her articles of faith ; and then to 
bind the Church to their observance, and require her to bind all her children to the 
same. If this be not Canonical, then it is simple folly to talk about the " English 
Reformation" as " CANONICAL." 


The Council in his majesty's name, A. D. 1550, required the 
Bishops to see that all the altars in the churches were taken 
down, and a communion table placed in their room. But why 
this alteration ? The Reformers gave the answer : Because 
Christ instituted the Sacrament not at an altar, but at a table : 
Because the Holy Ghost calls it " The Lord's table," but never 
an altar : because the altar, in its name, form, and very idea, 
implies a sacrifice, and the people have been superstitiously 
taught to regard the Sacrament as a sacrifice, a propitiatory 
oblation of the body of Christ, for the sins of the quick and 
dead. The altar thus administers to a gross and impious-idola- 
try : many of the people actually worshipping a breaden god ; 
supposing that the very person, soul, and divinity of Christ are 
present on the altar. Why, therefore, should there be any longer 
an altar without a propitiatory sacrifice, by a sacerdotal Priest ? 
Let us return to the truth, to the Bible form and name ; let us 
have no more an altar, but a table. What want we of an altar, 
while we have no more a transubstantiation ? 

We have now come to the period which marks THE RISE OF 
THE PURITANS. While so many things were struck off from 
the ancient forms and implements of superstition, there were 
several other appendages of Popery which those who held the 
power of reforming determined still to preserve. The thing 
which gave the first occasion to a debate that at length drew 
after it the great questions of religious freedom and the limits of 
civil or ecclesiastical power, was the GARMENTS OF THE PRIEST- 
HOOD : apparently a small matter, but involving the mightiest 
principles, and the dearest rights that concern the earthly exist- 
ence of man. 

*We are willing, said the more ardent among the Reforming 
clergy, to wear distinctive garments of some sort, if you 
please ; anything decent, but do not compel us to wear such 
regimentals of Popery, as will by the people be regarded a badge 
of the popish faith. The refusal came first from the eloquent 
and devoted Hooper, who had been appointed Bishop of Glou- 
cester, but who scrupled whether he might, in conscience, submit 
to be consecrated in popish vestments. The martyr Hooper thus 
shares with Wickliffe the immortal honor of being' the FATHER OF 

The reason for refusing the garments was the same as for 
demolishing the altars. The garments had been consecrated by 
popish mummeries, and were supposed to possess a mysterious 
virtue, like holy water, which mystic virtue imparted a sacred- 
ness and VALIDITY to the acts of the priest who wore them. In- 
deed, they were at that day very much like the bishop's hands, 
and the " virtue" that is by full grown Puseyites at the present 


day, supposed to flow from those hands by the mysterious effi- 
ciency of Apostolical succession; so much so that without the 
consecrated garments a priest could not be sure that the neces- 
sary virtue flowed from his acts to make them valid. Accord- 
ingly, when Bishop Latimerwas clad in the garments in order to 
be ceremoniously divested and degraded previously to his being 
burne,d ; as soon as the consecrated robes were lorn off from 
him, he cried out in derision, "Now I can make no more holy 

John Rogers, the proto-martyr in Queen Mary's reign, per- 
emptorily refused to wear the garments, unless the popish priests 
were enjoined to wear upon their sleeves, by way of distinction. 
a chalice with a host. When Dr. Taylor was clad in the same 
preparatory to being burned, he walked about saying, " How say 
you, my lord, am I not a goodly fool ? If I were in Cheapside, 
would not the boys laugh at these foolish toys and apish trum- 
pery ?" And when the surplice was pulled off, " Now," says he, 
" I am rid of a fool's coat." When they were pulling the same 
off from Archbishop Cranmer, he meekly replied, " All this 
needed not : I myself had done with this gear long ago." 

Clad in these robes, the priest at the mass was considered 
(to use the words of Challonar's Catholic Christian Instructed) 
" as Chris? s Vicegerent-, and officiating in his person" The 
same author informs us that the Amice, the Alb, the girdle, 
the maniple, the stole, the chasuble, represent the cloth with 
which Christ's face was muffled, the white garment in which 
he was arrayed, the bands with which he was fastened, and the 
purple garment which was put on him. The great cross on the 
back represents the cross which he bore; and the tonsure, the 
crown of thorns. Such were the superstitions and corruptions 
with which the priestly garments stood connected. Hooper 
thought he could not use them without abetting the superstitions 
of Popery. Bucer at Cambridge, and Peter Martyr at Oxford, 
to whom he applied for advice, declared against the garments as 
the inventions of antichrist. Most of the Reforming clergy 
agreed with Hooper in opinion. Hooper was thrown into pri- 
son because he declined being made a bishop, on condition of 
being obliged to wear the garments. Afterwards a compromise 
was effected ; Hooper consented to wear the robes at his consecra- 
tion, and when he preached before the king in his Cathedral, 
and was allowed a dispensation at other times. 

King Edward was now rapidly descending to the grave. The 
He formers could do no more. Six years only had been allowed 
them to begin the work of Reformation, when the Bloody Mary 
ascended the throne and committed them to the flames. 



Her duplicity. Restoration of Popery. Re-ordination of Clergymen or- 
dained by King Edward's Book. Kingdom reconciled to the Pope. 

A Puritan Church discj}y,ered : its officers 

burned. Exiles at Frankfort 

IT is now 290 years* since the popish Mary came to the crown 
of England, and interrupted the fair work of the Reformers. 
Never did the blasting breath of the Sirocco, or the pestilence, mark 
its course with more ample tokens of its destructive power, than 
that brief five years' reign of the Bloody Mary. Six years only 
had elapsed since the death of Henry VIII. ; six years only were 
allowed to the Reformers to effect and consolidate the Reforma- 
tion ; five years more brought the nation back into the chains of 
Popery, and gave the long list of Reformers to the flames. We 
can hardly bring our minds to admit the reality that these things 
transpired in England within the last 300 years. 

The character of Mary is no less accurately than briefly drawn 
in the words of the historian Hume : " Mary possessed all the 
qualities fitted to compose a bigot ; and her extreme ignorance 
rendered her utterly incapable of doubt in her own belief, or in- 
dulgence to the opinions of others. She possessed few qualities 
either estimable or amiable ; and her person was as little en- 
gaging as her behavior and address. Obstinacy, bigotry, vio- 
lence, cruelty, revenge, tyranny, every circumstance of her char- 
acter took a tincture from her bad temper and narrow under- 
standing." To this we may add that she most conscientiously 
thought, that in committing the Reformers to the flames, she 
was doing the most acceptable service to God.- 

Her reign was answerable to these principles and this descrip- 
tion. The long and sickening details of the horrid cruelties 
practised, we cannot now pursue to any extent. They should 
however be read and pondered ; and works containing the his- 

* 1843. 


tory in extended form are now accessible among the cheap pub- 
lications of the day.* 

Mary had promised that she would make no alteration in 
religion, and to this promise she was in no small measure in- 
debted for her bloodless succession to the throne in opposition to 
the claims of Lady Jane Grey. Upon this promise the men of 
Suffolk joined her standard, and at once decided the question. 
A few days after her entrance into London, she declared in 
Council, that though her conscience was settled in matters of 
religion, she had resolved not to compel others but by the preach- 
ing of the Word. Within one week from that day, she prohibited 
all preaching throughout the realm, without special license. 

/' It was easy to foresee,'' says Hume, " that none but Catholics 
ivould be favored with this privilege." The men of Suffolk took 
the alarm ; and presuming upon their services, sent a deputation 
to represent their grievances; but the queen rebuked their inso- 
lence ; and one of them venturing to speak of her promise, he 
was " put in the pillory for three days together and deprived of 
his ears." In three days more, the popish bishops, Bonner, Gardi- 
ner, Tonstal and others, were reinstated in their sees. Hooper, 
* Coverdale, Taylor, and Rogers, were taken into custody. Within 
a fortnight more, Cranmer and Latimer were sent to the Tower. 
The storm gathered thick and fast: many hundreds of the clergy 
and principal men fled beyond sea : among whom were Samp- 
son, Sandys, Reynolds, Knox the reformer of Scotland, Fox the 
martyrologist, and Grindal and Jewell, afterwards archbishops. 

The popish priests began to celebrate mass in the churches 
where they had control. The Protestant ministers and churches 
began to be openly insulted and hindered in their worship. A 
Judge Hales, who ventured to govern his conduct by the unre- 
pealed laws of the realm, rather than according to what he might 
have conjectured to be the pleasure of the queen, was fined a 
ruinous sum, and by rough treatment driven to distraction and 

Two months had not quite elapsed when the queen was 
crowned by Gardiner, attended by ten bishops, all in their mitres, 
copes and crosiers, though contrary to law. Ten days after, the 
parliament was opened by a Mass of the Holy Ghost in the 
Latin tongue, celebrated by both houses, with all the ancient 
ceremonies, though forbidden by law. 

The service book of King Edward was abolished. All his 

V laws for the reforming of public worship were repealed. In 

little more than four months from the queen's accession, the old 

*" Fox's Book of Martyrs" is among these cheap publications, in which authen- 
tic accounts are found in full detail. " The Days of Queen Mary," prepared by the 
London Tract Society, has recently been re-published in cheap form in this country. 


Romish service in Latin was by law resumed throughout the 
realm. Severe laws were made against all who should treat the 
Mass with irreverence ; and it was made felony for more than 
twelve persons to assemble together with an intent to alter the 
religion established by law. The Convocation met with Bonner 
in the chair ; and all who had a right to sit, save six, subscribed 
the doctrine of transubstantiation. 

The queen now issued her orders, directing all the ceremonies, 
holidays, and feasts of King Henry's time to be revoked. Those 
clergymen who had been ordained by the late service book, were 
to be re-ordained ; and all people compelled to come to church. 
" The Mass," says Neale, " was set up in all places ; and the old 
popish ceremonies revived. The carvers and makers of statues 
had a quick trade for roods and other images that were to be set 
up in the churches. The most eminent preachers were already 
under confinement, and about three thousand more were in this 
visitation deprived." 

Cardinal Pole was by this time come from Rome as Legate 
of the Pope, with power to receive the kingdom once more into 
the bosom of the Catholic Church. The parliament drew up 
a supplication to Mary and her husband, Philip of Spain, to in- 
tercede with the legate of his holiness that England might be 
graciously pardoned the damnable offence of departing from 
Rome. This intercession the legate kindly admitted ; and 
sitting covered, with the lords and commons kneeling before him, 
he mercifully granted a full absolution ; only enjoining as a 
penance that they should repeal all laws passed against Roman- 
ism. This being done, all proceeded to the chancel, and with 
great joy sung praise to God for such singular mercy. One man 
in parliament, and only one, refused to kneel before this deputy 
of a foreign priest; and that man was Sir Ralph Bagnel ; a 
name, for this alone, worthy of lasting honor. 

The kingdom being now restored to the Papacy, the next 
thing to be done was to take care of the Reformers. It has been 
the uniform custom of Rome, wherever she has had the power, 
whenever a Reformation has broken out within her pale, to over- 
whelm the rising movement in blood. " Drunken with the 
blood of the saints," has been her true description from age to 
age. The Inquisitions of Spain ; those dungeons of secresy 
and torture, the sighing and tears and blood of whose victims will 
never be fully revealed till the Day of Judgment; the Cru- 
sades against the Christians of Piedmont ; the dragooning 
of the Huguenots and the massacre of the Protestants on 
St. Bartholomew's day in France ; these things have marked 
her character in all countries and all ages. It is her boast 
to be infallible never to err and never to change. One of 


her modern catechisms (I quote from the " Days of Queen 
Mary," by the London Tract Society) uses the following 
language : " It is not to be denied that heretics and schismatics, 
because they have revolted from the Church (for they no 
more belong to it than deserters do to the army which they 
have abandoned), it is not however to be denied that they 
are in the power of the Church as persons who may be PUNISHED, 
and doomed by ANATHEMA TO DAMNATION." Pope Pius VII., 
in A. D. 1805, writing his nuncio in Vienna, says : " We have 
fallen on times so calamitous and humiliating to the spouse of 
Jesus Christ, that it is not possible for her to practise, nor expe- 
dient for her to recall so holy maxims ; and she is FORCED to 
interrupt the course of her JUST SEVERITIES against the enemies 
of the faith." 

Rome now had the power once more in her own hands ; and 
England was at her mercy. The old sanguinary laws against 
dissenters from her faith and worship were restored in all their 
severity. Henry VIII., though a bloody monster, who never 
hesitated to burn such as he judged to be heretics, had yet 
made a merciful alteration in the laws. No person was any 
longer to be seized and imprisoned, or doomed to death, at the 
mere pleasure of an ecclesiastic. The civil power was required 
to concur. The accused was to be condemned only by a course 
of law, and upon the verdict of a jury. The ecclesiastical au- 
thorities were now once more empowered to seize any person, 
and confine him, without trial, at their pleasure, in prisons wholly 
under their own control. Such prisons the Bishops had, and 
they used them without rnercy. When the prisoner was brought 
forth, it was not to stand before the tribunals of law, but before 
mere arbitrary prelates, whose law was their caprice. He was 
not allowed the privileges granted to the most atrocious criminal. 
" There was no jury to decide ; no judge humanely examining 
the evidence brought forward by the accuser ; no counsel to 
advise, or to make such inquiries as the case suggested ; no 
friends whose presence might show the poor prisoner that there 
were some to sympathize in his fate. There was no open ex- 
amination of witnesses ; nor was the prisoner allowed to call for 
persons whose testimony might disprove the accusation against 
him." I have taken these last sentences from " the Days of 
Queen Mary," by the London Tract Society; and a better general 
description of these scenes cannot be given, than that given by the 
same tract in the following words : " After enduring an arbitrary 
imprisonment, generally in a loathsome dungeon, loaded with 
fetters, debarred from the necessaries of life, view the prisoner, 
enfeebled with long confinement, brought before the cruel and 
iniquitous Bonner, or some one of like spirit, whenever his 


judge was pleased to summon him, and commonly without any 
previous notice." " View him received with taunts and revil- 
ings, commanded to hear accusations brought forward by some 
secret enemy ; not permitted to disprove any calumnies with 
which he might be charged, but required to ' turn or burn.' " 
" The judge might perhaps remand him for a short interval, or 
even try to work upon him by false professions of kindness ; 
but when these efforts proved fruitless, his end was certain. He 
was condemned, and sent to the stake, probably within a few 
hours, ' there to be burned alive, often with protracted sufferings, 
subjected to insults and violence from ignorant, bigoted individu- 
als, who were taught to believe that such proceedings were 
acceptable to a just and holy God.' " " The martyr suffered not 
in his own person only." " When called upon to give the short 
and important answer, which would seal his fate, he knew that 
every member of his family would have to share the bitter cup 
of persecution. Already the beloved of his soul were pining at 
home, supported only by the scanty remnants of the earnings of 
his former industry, or dependent on the charity of others, about 
to be cast helpless upon the world, doomed to bear the disgrace 
which would be attached to his name by a cruel and hard- 
hearted generation." 

General statements, however, never strike the mind like the 
detailed history of individuals. No one's imagination will fill 
up the outline given in this meagre general description. To 
obtain a just conception of these cruelties, one must read the 
simple narratives of the martyrologists. He must see the inhu- 
man Bonner, tearing the hair, and lacerating the faces of the 
victims, who have been dragged from a long and dreary confine- 
ment in the prison which has received the name of Bonner's coal- 
house. He must, see that bloodthirsty bishop holding the hand of 
the humble Tompkins in the flame of a lamp, till the sinews shrink 
and the blood spurts forth into the faces of those who stand by. 
He must read the details of Rogers' imprisonment ; and see him led 
to the stake forbidden even to say farewell to his wife and nume- 
rous family of children, who have come out, if possible, to take 
their last view of him on his way to execution. He must see 
Hooper, with green faggots piled around him, in a lowering 
morning, while the high wind blows the scanty flame away 
from his body ; and the fire, for a long time, reaches only his 
extremities, and when this nearly dies away, we must see him 
with his hand wiping the sweat of agony from his face, and 
mildly but earnestly entreating that more fire may be kindled ; 
and then continuing praying, till the operators see him " black 
in the mouth," and his tongue so swollen that he cannot speak ; 
yet his lips moving till they shrink from the gums ; and he 


smiting his breast, till one of his arms falls off in the fire ; and 
then continuing knocking with the other, while " the fat. and 
water and blood, drop out at his linger ends ;' we must 
stand by him till the fire has been replenished the third time ; 
and that hand at last cleaves fast to the hot iron upon his 
breast ; and he falls over his chain, and expires. 

From witnessing such burnings as these, he who would be- 
come acquainted with the sorrows of the martyrs, must go to 
the Lollards' tower, and elsewhere, to see the prisoners. He 
must see them with their feet or hands in the stocks : or fastened 
in some torturing posture, pining away the weeks and months 
in famine, cold, and darkness. As these prisoners are dragged 
to the stake, he must see little children following a beloved 
father, and begging with cries of distraction that they may be 
burned with him. But I will not I cannot dwell further upon 
these horrid details. 

Let us pass to the things in Queen Mary's reign, which more 
appropriately relate to the rise and progress of the Puritans. 

It is not to be supposed that the multitudes of pious and 
enlightened people in the land, could, in these times of distress 
and terror, rest satisfied with the idolatrous rites of Popery. 
Kindred spirits would meet together, to pour their sorrows into 
each other's bosoms, and to pour out their complaints unto God. 
There were accordingly many secret congregations assembling 
in private houses, in the fields, or on board ships, or wherever 
they might find a place sufficiently concealed. Here we begin 
to observe how uniformly Christian people, when they are cut 
loose from human forms and restraints, and left to adopt for 
themselves such organization and order as simple piety finds in 
the light of nature and of God's Word, resort to the simple 
worship and discipline of Puritanism. Such were the princi- 
ples laid down by Wickliffe. Such, of necessity, was the wor- 
ship of the Lollards. Such must have been the worship and 
discipline of those congregations who are mentioned as meeting 
secretly for worship daring the reigns of the Henrys, the Seventh 
and Eighth ; which congregations were, in all probability, but the 
descendants and the successors of the early followers of Wickliffe. 
Such was the case with the pious men and women who gath- 
ered secretly for the enjoyment of the worship and ordinances 
of pure religion, in the days of the Bloody Mary. " There 
were several congregations." says Neale, " up and down the 
country, which met together in the night, and in secret places, 
to cover themselves from the notice of their persecutors. Great 
numbers in Suffolk and Essex constantly frequented the private 
assemblies of the Gospellers, and came not at all to the pub- 
lic service ; but the most considerable congregation was in and 


about London. It was formed soon after Queen Mary's ac- 
cession, and consisted of above two hundred members." 

A seizure was made of Mr. Rough, who had been " elected" 
minister of this Church, and of Outhbert Sympson, their deacon, 
who kept a book containing the names and accounts of the 
congregation. This, then, was a Congregational Church, with 
its minister and deacon, " elected" by the people. The Church 
of England knows no such popular election ; it has no perma- 
nent unpreaching deacon, the officer of a particular Church. In 
spite of their familiarity with the prelatical organizations, these 
pious people who met to worship God at the hazard of their 
lives, were no sooner left to themselves, to the Bible and to 
nature, than the path was open and plain. They were led at 
once to the simple worship, discipline and organization, so 
manifestly used in apostolic times ; and afterwards so faithfully 
copied by our Pilgrim Fathers. 

To test a principle, I would fain ask those who talk so much 
about Apostolic succession, and the sin of schism, while they 
maintain the Church of Rome a true Church, and her Priests and 
Bishops to be ministers of the true Apostolic succession; I 
would fain ask these, Of what sin were these pious men and 
women guilty, when they met in secret places to worship God, 
in the reign of the Bloody Mary ? Lay your hand upon your 
heart and tell me which was the true Church, and with which 
was a true disciple of Christ to meet and worship ; with which 
should he join in breaking the bread of the communion of the 
body of our Lord ? With those devout people who met in 
secret, or with those who hunted them for their lives ? Tell me, 
where does your soul go ? Where does the Word of God 
bid you go ? With Christ's truth and people, or with a wicked 
murderous succession, who have abandoned Christ's truth, and 
are persecuting his people to death ? Suppose those times of 
darkness had continued for some centuries, as they did con- 
tinue over the Christian valleys of Piedmont, might these 
Christians never meet to worship God or to enjoy his ordinances ? 
Are they still bound to that " Succession, of atheistical, heathen- 
ish, bloody monsters wearing mitres, whose constant work it is 
to torture and destroy the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ ? 
Are they still helplessly dependent from generation to genera- 
tion upon those debauchees, infidels, and murderers, for the 
bread of life ? Tell me, When the Succession abandons 
Christ and his truth, which shall we follow; Christ and his 
truth ; or a lying and heathenish succession ? If there be schism 
at such a time, who is the true schismatic, the simple Christian 
who cleaves to Christ and his truth, or the mitred prelate who 
departs from both ? Whatever be the doctrine of Prelatists on 


this point, the doctrine of the Word of God is too plain to be 
misapprehended ; " Though WE, or an ANGEL FROM HEAVEN, 
preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached 
unto you, let him be accursed." If we must follow GOD'S TRUTH 
rather than an APOSTLE or an ANGEL FROM HEAVEN ; how much 
more must we abide by the truth, rather than by a persecuting 
murderous teacher of falsehood^ even though he should wear a 
mitre, and claim to be official successor of the Apostles ? 

These pious brethren continued to assemble wherever they could 
hope to escape the bishop's spies ; till at length a false brother, 
who perhaps had joined them for the purpose of treachery, be- 
trayed them. The minister, the deacon and many others were 
seized. Sympson was put upon the rack three times in one day, 
because he would neither discover the register of the Church, nor 
the names of its members. He was sent to Bonner. " You see," 
said Bonner to the spectators, " what a personable man this is ; and 
for his patience, if he was not a heretic, I should much commend 
him ; for he has been three times racked in one day, and in my 
house has endured some sorrow, and yet I never saw his pa- 
tience moved." Sympson, Rough) and others of the congregation 
ended their lives in the flames. 

The exiles at Frankfort also organized themselves into a 
Congregational Church, electing their ministers and deacons. 
Deliberately considering the order of worship to be used, they 
laid aside the litany, the surplice, the responses, and many things 
in the communion service. The order of their worship was first 
a prayer, then a psalm, a prayer, a sermon, a prayer, at the close 
of which was joined the Lord's prayer, a rehearsal of the articles 
of belief, a psalm, and last the benediction. " Other exiles set 
up another Church of like descriptions at Embden in East Fries- 
land ; others did the same at Wesel in Westphalia." [Prince, 
N. England Chronology.] 

The exiles were not, however, in all places of the same mind. 
The Church at Frankfort sending to certain divines at Strasburg 
to come to their aid and ministry, these refused except on condi- 
tion that the Church should restore the Liturgy. The Church at 
Frankfort refused, saying that the Liturgy had been altered in King 
Edward's time as far as circumstances would permit, and that 
" If God had not in these wicked days hindered it by his Provi- 
dence, they would have altered more ; and in our case," said 
they, " we doubt not but they would have done as we do." 
The Strasburg divines urging a compliance, the Church gave 
their decided answer in the negative. This answer was signed 
in behalf of the Church, by John Knox, the famous Reformer of 
Scotland, by Fox the martyrologist, and by several more. 

In this juncture, willing to receive light, and wishing to fol- 
low the path of duty, the Church resolved to ask advice of Calvin, 



who was at that day in the highest repute in England and 
throughout all countries where the Reformation had extended. 
Calvin having carefully examined the Prayer-Book, gave it as his 
opinion, that " There were many endurable weaknesses in it ; 
which, because at first they could not be amended, were to be 
suffered. But it behooved grave and godly ministers of Christ 
to enterprise further, and set up something more filed from rust, 
and purer. If religion had flourished till this day in England, 
many of these things would have been reformed. But since the 
Reformation is overthrown, and a Church is to be set up in 
another place, where you are at liberty to establish what order 
is most for edification, / cannot tell what they mean who are so 
fond of the leavings of popish dregs" 

The next year brought Dr. Cox to Frankfort, who broke through 
the order established in the Church, created a great disturbance, 
arid caused Knox to be accused of high treason against the em- 
peror, on account of some expressions in a book which Knox 
had some years before published in English, in which he had 
said that the emperor was not less an enemy to Christ than Nero. 
The magistrates, fearful of difficulty with the emperor, desired 
Knox to leave the city. The party of Cox, now strengthened by 
accessions from abroad, set up the Liturgy, and organized the 
church anew. Most of the old congregation left the city. It is 
remarkable that the new church, made up of men so strenuous 
for the Liturgy, gave the very first exhibition of a conflict between 
the clergy and the people, as to where lies the power of ultimate 
appeal ; whether in the clergy or in the brethren of the church. 
The rector summoned one of the members to appear at the ves- 
try before the officers of the church. The member appealed to 
the body of the church, who ordered the cause to be brought before 
them. The rector and officers chose rather to resign than to ad- 
mit these rights of the church. The church maintained their 
ground, and formally determined that " In all controversies among 
themselves, and especially in cases of appeal, the last resort 
should be in the church." 

Such was the strange issue of the contentions at Frankfort. 
Those who had strenuously opposed the Liturgy, went and sub- 
mitted themselves to the Presbyterian discipline at Geneva. 
Those who had been ready to turn everything upside down for 
a Liturgy, remained and asserted the strongest principle of Con~ 
gregationalism. So gradually dawned the light. So surely does 
abuse of power teach the injured their rights. Discussion and 
even dissension is made to lead to the discovery of truth. Old 
principles, though established in ancient precedents and ratified 
by law, are sifted. What can be shaken is laid aside. Truth 
is eternal ; its opposers are mortal. Contests may await it ; 
times of declension may leave it for a season depressed and ob- 


scured; but in spite of all it holds on its way ; commending itself 
to right reason ; approving itself always simple and glorious ; the 
friend of freedom, of knowledge, and religion ; till at last it is es- 
tablished, never to be overthrown. Though angry controversy in 
trivial matters is always to be deprecated, I cannot be of the 
opinion of those who dread the issue of a temperate though ear- 
nest discussion of questions lying at the foundation of the great 
matters of truth and order, and of human rights. I know not to 
what stagnation and tyranny the world and the Church would 
have been given over, but for such conflicts of principle. Cer- 
tain it is, that whatever evils may have resulted from such con- 
flicts, much darkness and much corruption would have encum- 
bered the Church without them; much that is fairest in truth would 
never have been discovered, or being discovered, would have 
been undervalued and of little use. " There must be heresies," 
says an Apostle, " that they which are approved may be made 
manifest among you." There must be discussion perhaps at 
times dissension that what is true and useful and important 
may be made known. Only it should be remembered that truth 
and duty not party ends nor party spirit should govern the dis- 
cussion ; for " The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness 
of God." Save for the conflicts of Puritanism, freedom would 
never have been known ; and a sort of religion scarcely in ad- 
vance of Romanism would have reigned unbroken in England, 
if not throughout the Christian world. 

But these heats of controversy between those who had for 
conscience sake fled from their native land, could not last for 
ever. These were transient fires ; the principle of love was deep 
seated within them, an unquenchable flame. The short reign 
of Mary had not passed away, before these grudges seemed 
nearly forgotten. In this respect the " sun " did not " go down 
upon their wrath." Letters of mutual esteem and love passed 
between the exiles of Geneva and those of Frankfort. With the 
accession of Elizabeth all promised to forget their former dis- 
pleasure, and to strive together for a further reform. " We trust," 
said those who had been so strenuous for the Prayer-Book, " that 
true religion shall be restored, and that we shall not be burdened 
with unprofitable ceremonies. And if any shall be obtruded 
that shall be offensive at our meeting in England, which we 
trust will be shortly, we will brotherly join with you to be 
suitors for the reformation and abolishing of the same." " And 
I find," says Prince, in his N. England Chronology, " that soon 
returning to England they were as good as their word." 

Having seen Puritanism in its first endurance of suffering, we 
come now to view it in its activity, girding itself for its first en- 
counters with the spirit of formalism and despotism in the long 
and rigid reign of Queen Elizabeth. 



Reformation conducted on principles of State policy. Papists to be kept 
in the Church. High Commission. Things offensive to Papists stricken 
out of the Liturgy. Plan of keeping Papists in the-hurch successful. 
Foresight of the Puritans. Their predictions verified. Original -ernn- 
plaints of the Puritans. ProgressjjL their i 

THE accession of Queen Elizabeth, 17th November, A.D. 1558, 
was regarded by all parties as the signal for a return from Popery 
to the Reformation. There were circumstances, however, which 
rendered it difficult to make the change either sudden or com- 
plete, had the queen ever so heartily desired it. The offices of 
the Church were filled with popish bishops and popish priests. 
A large share of the people were still popish. The Pope had 
pronounced the queen illegitimate, and incapable of inheriting 
the throne. In the failure of Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots 
was the undoubted heir, and both she and the popish sovereigns 
wanted only a favorable opportunity to assert her title to the throne. 

Elizabeth saw the difficulties of her situation, and was too 
politic to risk any commotions by attempting too sudden or too 
wide a departure from the rituals then in use. This caution 
arose from a due survey of the dangers, and was deliberately 
made the rule of the policy to be pursued. Maddox, who, a 
hundred years ago, attempted to justify her conduct towards the 
Puritans, transcribes a state paper " of considerable consequence," 
as he says, laying down " a plan of a Reformation" and contain- 
ing a survey of the "dangers that were likely to follow." The 
following are the dangers specified in that survey : 

" 1st. The Bishop of Rome will be incensed ; will excommu- 
nicate the queen's highness; interdict the realm, and give it a 
prey to all princes that will enter upon it. 

" 2d. The French king and his people will be encouraged to 
persist more vigorously in the war against declared heretics. 

" 3d. Scotland will have some boldness, and by that way the 
French king will soonest attempt to invade us. 

.^" 4th. Ireland will be very difficult to be stayed in their obe- 
dience by reason of the clergy that are associated to Rome. 


" 5th. Many people of our own will be very much discontented, 
especially these sorts ; (1) Such as governed in the late Queen 
Mary's reign, and were chosen thereto for no other cause, or 
were then esteemed for being hot and earnest in the other re- 
ligion ; and now remain unplaced or uncalled to credit; these 
will study all the ways they can to maintain the former doings. 
(2) The Bishops and all the clergy will see their own ruin ; and 
in confession and preaching, and all other ways they can, will 
persuade people from it. (3) Men which be of the papist sort, 
who late were in manner all the judges of the law, and justices 
of the peace, are like to join with the bishops and clergy. (4) 
1 Many such as would gladly have the aiteratiows from the Church 
of Rome, when they shall see, peradventure, that some old cere- 
monies shall still be left, or that their doctrine which they embrace 
is not allowed and commanded only, and all other abolished and 
disapproved, shall be discontented and call the altered religion 
a cloaked papistry, a mingle-mangle.' " 

These were the prudential reasons avowed, for not being 
governed solely by the truth and purity of the Word' of God in 
the proposed Reformation, but by considerations of Slate policy. 
What sort of standards for doctrine and rituals such a heart- 
less politician as Queen Elizabeth was likely to establish under 
such circumstances, may be readily conjectured. 

There was still another plea for conducting the Reformation 
rather with a regard to keeping the Papists quiet, than with re- 
gard to truth and purity of worship ; which plea is thus stated by 
Maddox, and which, though I have already quoted it, is of suffi- 
cient importance here to repeat : " Besides, as the nation in 
general was popish, it plainly appeared an act of great compas- 
sion to many thousand souls, as well as necessary to the queen's 
safety, and the success of the Reformation, to contrive, if it were 
possible, such a form of worship, without idolatry, which might 


Thus the ground of defence and justification relied upon by 
Bishop Maddox in his work against the Puritans, is the unblush- 
ing avowal that the offices of the Church of England were finally 
settled, not on the ground which Protestants consider purest and 
most scriptural, but upon the designed and avowed policy of 
"keeping the Papists in the Church;" by retaining just as much 
of the popish cast, and spirit, and forms, as was " not idolatry ;" 
having due " regard to the essentials of religion ;" which were 
still to be judged of by the politic queen ! 

Can there be any wonder that there should arise a BAND OF 
PURITANS, bold enough to express their discontent at being com- 
pelled not only to conform in all particulars to rituals and Lit^r- 
gies established on these principles ; but compelled also to sub- 


scribe to the same, their unqualified approval as fully consonant ^ 
to the Word of God ? Was all due to policy, and nothing to 
conscience, to the truth, to freedom, and to God ? 

If the dangers which surrounded Queen Elizabeth might be 
pleaded to justify this policy in the beginning of her reign, these 
dangers had passed away before her greatest severities against 
the Puritans commenced ; and while these dangers lasted, the /, 
Puritans chose rather to suffer in quiet, waiving their rights 
and enduring everything that could be endured, rather than fail 
in patriotism ; or than to expose the Reformation to the en- 
croachment of foreign powers. That the Puritans ever sided 
with the Papist against the Protestant religion, or against the 
Protestant government of their country, no well-informed man 
will ever venture to assert, till in his party zeal he has bid a long 
adieu to truth. When the Puritans stood at last for their rights, 
it was no mere resistance to a crooked state policy induced by 
dangers or by a stern necessity ; but a resistance to tyranny avoived 
on principle, and to the settled policy of despotism, founded on no 
plea of danger, but on open denial of the rights of conscience. 

Besides this policy, which led to the predetermined adherence 
to many of the forms and superstitions of Popery, Elizabeth was 
by taste and principle much inclined to those superstitions and 
forms. HUME has justly said, that " Elizabeth was attached to 
the Protestants chiefly by her interests and the circumstances of 
her birth ; and seems to have entertained some propensity to the 
Catholic superstition, at least to the ancient ceremonies." " So 
far was the princess herself from being willing to despoil religion 
of the few ornaments and ceremonies which remained in it," 
that she " was rather inclined to bring' the public worship still 
nearer the Romish ritual; and she thought the Reformation 
had already gone too far in shaking off those forms and ob- 
servances, which, without distracting men of more refined appre- 
hensions, tend, in a very innocent manner, to amuse and engage 
the vulgar." " It was with great difficulty (says Neale, on the 
authority of Burnet), and not without a sort of protestation from 
the bishops, that she would consent to have orders given for 
taking away from the churches, such remnants of idolatry as 
the shrines, rolls of wax, paintings, and other monuments of 
feigned miracles. In her own chapel she kept still a crucifix 
with images of the Virgin Mary and St. John ; and when 
Sandys, Bishop of Worcester, spoke to her against it, she 
threatened to deprive him of his bishopric. She would not 
part with her altar and lighted candles." " The gentlemen and 
singing children appeared" [in her chapel] " in their surplices, 
and priests in their copes." " In short, the service performed in 
the queen's chapel, and in sundry cathedrals, was so splendid 


and showy, that foreigners could not distinguish it from the 
Roman, except that it was performed in the English tongue." 
" By this means, the popish laity were deceived into conformity, 
and came regularly to church for more than ten years, till the 
Pope, being out of all hopes of an accommodation, forbad them, 
by excommunicating the queen, and laying the whole kingdom 
under an interdict." " She grew so superstitious," says Prince, 
" that when she was sixty years old, and her decaying nature 
required the use of meat, she would not eat a bit of flesh for the 
forty days of Lent, without a solemn license from her own arch- 
bishop Whitgift (who depended wholly on her for power to 
grant it), nor would she be easy with one general license, but 
must have it renewed every year, for several years." 

When we add to these considerations of state policy, and to 
this tendency of the queen to superstition, the fact that to seven 
Protestants in her council she chose thirteen Papists, and that 
the council and queen controlled entirely the establishment of 
religion, we shall be able to anticipate the sort of Reformation 
which was likely to follow. 

Such were the power, the policy, the taste, the principles, 
under which the rituals of the English Church were to receive 
that final establishment, set forth in the Prayer-Book which it is 
now the fashion to laud as the " sole surviving monument of the 
Reformation?' 1 * A strict conformity to that standard was now 
about to be enforced by the strong hand of power, and every 
variation to be sought out and punished with inquisitoral 

The thoroughly Protestant part of the nation was not in a 
mood to have anything forced upon them, which, in their estima- 
tion, savored of the mummeries or the abominations of Popery. 
From the dungeons ; from the flames that consumed the martyrs 
in the reign of terror now just over, they had imbibed an abso- 
lute horror of everything popish. In the gilded ornaments, 
pompous ceremonies, and ghostly robes of the man of sin, they 
had learned to discover the germs of false principles, the latent 
seeds of a superstition, which, when matured into their full 
growth and power, and fully ripe, had turned religion itself into 
an engine of tyranny and murder. They had learned to hate 
even the garment spotted by the flesh. They could not in con- 
science give the sanction of their example to the use of ceremo- 
nies and utensils inseparably joined, in the common estimation, 
to the superstitions and abominations of Popery. In retaining 
the vestments, utensils, and ceremonials so thoroughly associ- 
ated with Popery, they foretold that the seeds of false doctrine, 
of superstition, and of Popery itself, would be retained. These 

* Bishop Brownell, Charge. 


robes, utensils, and rituals were, therefore, in their view, not in- 
different. It was not that they were self-willed ; nor were they 
with narrow views and bigoted minds fighting against a mere 
surplice or ceremony ; but they had been taught by bitter ex- 
perience, to resist first principles; to take their stand where 
alone a stand is possible, at the beginnings of the evil, before 
everything is overwhelmed and swept away by its prevailing 

The queen pursued the line of policy which herself with the 
council had deliberately marked out. For some time the public 
religion continued as she found it. The popish priests kept on 
celebrating mass. None of the Protestant clergy ejected in the 
last reign were restored. Orders were given against all innova- 
tions. When some began to use King Edward's service book, 
the queen prohibited all preaching, and the reading of any prayers 
save those appointed by law, till the meeting of parliament. 
The parliament restored to the sovereign the supremacy of the 
Church ; gave to her the nomination of all bishops ; and vested 
in the crown, the power, without any concurrence of Parlia- 
ment or convocation, to repress all heresies, to establish or to 
repeal all canons ; to ordain, alter, or abolish, whatever religious 
rite or ceremony, she in her sovereign discretion and pleasure 
should choose. In order to the due exercise of this power, they 
gave her authority to institute that arbitrary and uncontrollable 
Court of High Commission, whose atrocities we shall hereafter 
have so much occasion to notice. 

The queen now instructed her committee of divines to revise 
King Edward's Liturgy. They were required to strike out all 
offensive passages against the Pope, and to make the people 
easy about the bodily presence of Christ in the sacrament. As 
to the wishes of those who desired a purer worship, no provi- 
sion was made, or intended to be made, out of regard to these. 
The petition, " From the tyranny of the Bishop of Rome, and 
all his detestable enormities, good Lord deliver us" was struck 
out from the Litany. The Rubric declaring that by kneeling at 
the sacrament no adoration was intended to any corporeal pre- 
sence of Christ, was struck out. The old festivals, with their eves, 
were continued as in the second year of King Edward VI., sub- 
ject to the queen's pleasure to take them away. Whereas in the 
revised Liturgy of King Edward, all the garments except the 
surplice were laid aside, the queen now ordered that the copes 
and other gear should be restored. 

The Book of Common Prayer thus prepared was by parlia- 
ment established by law ; and to its rituals and worship all were 
required, under penalties adequate to compel anything but con- 
science, to conform. 


I have already noticed how, all along, the government (not 
the Church) established or changed the organization and wor- 
ship of the Church of England. It was not the Church, but 
King Henry VIII. or Edward VI. and council, or Queen Eliza- 
beth and council and parliament, that ordered all these things. 
In the ratifying of this service book in parliament, the Archbishop 
of York objected that " An act of this consequence ought to have 
had the consent of the clergy in Convocation, before it passed 
into law. Even Arian Emperors," said he, " ordered that points 
of faith should be examined by councils." But he was over- 

It is now common to speak of the establishment of that Prayer- 
Book as the work of the Church : " The Church has ordered," 
"the Church bos judged," "the Church has decided !" If these 
things had been said of Romish mass books and Romish mum- 
meries, there might be some color of reason for pleading the 
authority of the Church. But in establishing the English Prayer- 
Book, the queen and parliament were the authority. The Church 
in the capacity either of people, clergy, or Convocation 
had no other hand in it, than submissively to receive whatever 
their masters should impose. 

" The forms and ceremonies now preserved in the English 
Church," says Hume, " as they bore some resemblance to the 
ancient service, tended further to reconcile the Catholics to the 
established religion : and as the queen permitted no other mode 
of worship, and at the same time struck out everything offensive 
to them in the new Liturgy, even those who were addicted to 
the Romish communion made no scruple of attending the estab- 
lished Church." The plan of keeping the Papists in the Church 
was eminently successful. Maddox himself notices that even as 
late as A. D. 1561, upon a visitation of Archbishop Parker, the 
major part of the beneficed clergy were either mechanics, or mass 
priests in disguise. And to justify the imposition of uniform 
rites of worship and forms of prayer he adds, that " Most of the 
inferior beneficed clergy kept their places," and that there were 
only 100 parochial clergy displaced out of 9400 parochial bene- 
fices. The rest of the priesthood were such men as had con- 
formed to the religion of the bloody Mary ; and were, therefore, 
either Papists or hypocrites. If any of the exiled clergy would 
conform to the queen's establishment, they were furnished with 
places ; if not, such as had at first been suffered to officiate were 
suspended ; and, as the least part of their sufferings, reduced to 
poverty. It was not for want of evangelical and learned men, 
that illiterate mechanics were put into beneficed parishes, 
but because these men could not in conscience comply with the 
queen's demands. Jewell (afterwards Archbishop), the year 


after the queen's accession, wrote lamenting the " worldly poli- 
cy " with which the Reformation was conducted : " As if the 
Word of God was not to be received on his own authority" He 
complained of the imposition of the popish vestments, " the relics 
of the Amorites," and wishes they were " exterminated to the 
deepest roots." Grindal (afterwards Archbishop) joined in 
these complaints ; as also did Cox, Horn and Pilkington, after- 
wards bishops. Many others did the same, whose judgment 
and heart were for a purer worship, but who vacillated between 
the duty of steadfastness for truth and purity, arid the policy of 
yielding for the present, with the hope of redress hereafter. Knox, 
Sampson, Gilpin, and the old translator of the Bible, Miles 
Coverdale, were offered bishoprics ; but they could not in con- 
science conform to the prescribed rituals. Whitehead was offered 
the Archbishopric of Canterbury, but for the same reasons he 
declined. These took their stand among' the PURITANS. Grindal, 
Jewell, Cox, Horn, and Pilkington, yielded and received bishop- 
rics, yet " with fear and trembling," in hopes by their interest 
with the queen to obtain some reform in the constitution of the 

This was the very thing against which the Reformers on the 
continent had, from their own bitter experience, warned the 
exiles upon their return to England. Bullinger and Peter Mar- 
tyr, had written earnestly to Jewell, Horn, Grindal, and the rest 
of the exiles, to " take care in the first beginnings, to have all 
things settled upon sure and sound foundations." Gualter, of 
Zurich, in a prophetic strain, and yet only deriving his forecast 
from the lessons of experience, urged the Reformers, " Not to 
hearken to thd councils of those men, who when they saw that 
Popery could not be honestly defended, nor entirely restrained, 
would use all artifices to have the outward face of religion to re- 
main mixed, uncertain, and doubtful ; so that while an evangelical 
religion is pretended, those things should be obtruded on the 
Church which will make the returning back to Popery, supersti- 
tion, and idolatry, easy." " We have had experience of this," 
said he, " for some years in Germany, and know what influence 
such persons may have." " I apprehend that in the first begin- 
nings, while men may study to avoid the giving of small 
offence, many things may be suffered under this color for a 
little while, and yet it will scarce be possible, by all the endeavors 
that can be used, to get them removed, at least without great strug- 

It was thus that the far reaching view of the Puritans foresaw 
the result of retaining in the Church of England things which 
were in their origin popishj and in their nature almost insepara- 
bly united with the fundamental errors and superstitions of Po- 


pery. Jewell and Grindal hoped for a further reform. The Pu- 
ritans entertained no such hope. They reasoned they stood, 
as though they foresaw, and they actually did foretell, the in- 
sinuating spirit with which these objectionable things would not 
only be retained, but how, like a gangrene, they would eat out 
the very vitals of evangelical religion. I shall ask you to ob- 
serve, as we progress, the remarkable fulfilment of these predic- 
tions. The declension from the doctrines of the Reformers to 
that compound of Arminianism and Popery which prevailed 
under the persecuting Laud, was but a part of their fulfilment. 
Elizabeth was not in her grave, before no dubious traces of that 
same compound, now known under the name of Puseyisrn, began 
largely to develope themselves in the Church of England. The 
same corruption swept over the Church in the days of High 
Churchism under Queen Anne. Again, before the rise of Wes- 
ley and Whitefield, says the " London Christian Observer" " The 
majority of the clergy denounced the doctrine of Justification by 
Faith, as hostile to the interests of morality" " In this shape," 
says the same authority, " the dispute came down to the present 
century. Our clergy had nearly lost sight of the true Protestant 
Scripture doctrine." " The clergy very generally disclaimed alto- 
gether the doctrine of Justification by Faith, and exhorted men to 
justify themselves by good living. They, in fact, adopted the Pa- 
pists' 1 second justification, losing sight of the first" The immor- 
tal Wilberforce declared the prevalent errors of the clergy and 
Church in his day to be such, that "The very genius and essential 
nature of Christianity was changed;" and that the great essential 
doctrines of Christianity, " had almost altogether vanished from 
view. Even in the greatest number of our sermons, scarcely any 
traces of them are to be found." 

The labors of Wesley and Whilefield ; the publication of Wil- 
berforce's " Practical View of the prevailing religious system of 
professed Christians, contrasted with real Christianity;" the 
writings of Hannah More to say nothing of those of such men 
as John Newton and Thomas Scott constituted a new era. 
Religion had been greatly revived in the Church of England. 
But while the world is beginning to hope for better things, lo! 
Oxfordism otherwise called Puseyism breaks forth once more 
in the bosom of the Church ; and is carrying it once more, with 
fearful strides, back to the popish corruptions from which it, 
seemed to have escaped. The rising leprosy crosses the Atlan- 
tic; and the friends of true religion lift up their voices against it 
in vain. The Bishop of New York in his charge (of 1841) ex- 
tols the scheme, and says, " My brethren, draw your studies this 
way." The Bishops of Maryland and New Jersey come out its 
open, strenuous, and unflinching advocates. The Bishop of Con- 


necticut, in his solemn charge, adopts most of the fundamentals 
of that scheme ; and from all his clergy, and from the whole 
Church over which he presides, he is not met by one single note 
of remonstrance or alarm! Is it prejudice or want of charity 
which leads people of other communions to stigmatize that 
Puseyistic scheme as Popery ? Hear then the Bishop of Calcut- 
ta : " It is," says he, " to me a matter of surprise and shame, that 
in the nineteenth century, we should really have the fundamental 
position of the whole system of Popery virtually re-asserted in 
the bosom of that very Church which was reformed so deter- 
minately, three centuries since, from this self-same evil, by the 
doctrine and labors and martyrdom of Cranmer and his noble 
fellow sufferers." " What ! are we to have all the fond tenets 
which formerly sprang from the traditions of men re-introduced ?" 
" Are we to have a refined transubstantiation ; the sacraments, 
not faith, the chief means of salvation ?" " The whole hangs 
together : IT CONSTITUTES ANOTHER GOSPEL. It overturns the 
grand peculiarity and centre tenet of all the reformed Churches." 
" Rome, not the reformed Churches, are the object of venera- 
tion." "Episcopacy is accounted, in the teeth of our Articles, to 
be absolutely, and under all circumstances, essential to the exist- 
ence of a Church." * * * " I am full of alarm ; everything is 
at stake. There seems something judicial in the spread of these 
opinions. If they should come over here, and pervade the teach- 
ing of our chaplains, the views and proceedings of our mission- 
aries, our friendly relations with other bodies of Christians, our 
position among the Hindoos and Mahometans, ICHABOD, the 
glory is departed; may be inscribed over our Church of India. 
All real advances in the conversion of the heathen will stop" 

While many of the best men in the Episcopal Church in this 
country speak out boldly and decidedly, like the Bishop of Cal- 
cutta, the general policy is to hush this matter up ; to persuade 
the people not to read, not to talk on this subject; and in the 
meantime the doctrine spreads. With the old Puritans, I ven- 
ture to predict that IT WILL BE HUSHED UP ; it will not be, it 
cannot be, effectually resisted under the organization and disci- 
pline and liturgy of that Church. The gangrene will spread on; 
appearing less and less horrible to the members of that commu- 
nion, as it becomes more and more familiar ; or I have misjudged 
the inherent character of the High Church Episcopal claims ; 
and drawn* from history my anticipations of the future in 

But what were the particular complaints of the Puritans ? It 

* This was written in 1S43. The world has seen how amply the doings of the 
General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in 1845, have fulfilled this 


is sufficient to mention a few of their leading objections } to 
show the ground and nature of the whole. I have already 
noticed their objections against being compelled to wear the 
garments which were so inseparably associated with Romish doc- 
trines and superstitions with regard to the sacerdotal character and 
offices of the Priesthood. These objections need not here be 

They objected against being required to make the sign of the 
cross in baptism; not only as unscriptural, but as associated, in 
the minds of the people, with the idea of some mystical virtue 
arising from the performance of a ceremony, through the ghostly 
character and power of the Priest. 

They objected against the private baptism of infants by women 
in cases of emergency, as countenancing the idea of mystical 
virtue attached to the performance of the rite ; and as connected 
with the notion that infants dying without baptism cannot be 

They objected against the requirement of Godfathers and 
Godmothers ; as unscriptural ; as taking the responsibility out 
of the hands of parents where God had placed it ; and as a 
virtual denial of the covenant on which infant baptism is found- 
ed ; resting the baptism not on the parents' 1 faith and privilege, 
and God's covenant promise, but on the figment of a faith and 
repentance PROMISED by the child, through his irresponsible spon- 
sors. This was to renounce God's covenant and promise, and 
to base the transaction on an unscriptural figment and ceremony, 
wholly the invention of man ; and that too a corrupt and profane 

They objected against the ceremony of confirmation : (1) as 
unscriptural, (2) as a false pretence of communicating grace, (3) 
as certifying people of the favor of God, when the conditions 
of confirmation do not forbid that the ceremony may be, nay, in 
an indiscriminate national Church, often must be, a confirm- 
ing of the enemies of God in a miserable and ruinous delusion. 

They objected against the. injunction requiring all to kneel at 
the Lord's Supper; (1) as being no imitation of Christ or his 
Apostles, who received the first Supper at a table in the ordinary 
table posture ; (2) as not being used even by the Primitive 
Church in the ages succeeding the Apostles, but as being ex- 
pressly condemned ; and (3) as not having been required till 
the bread in the Sacrament was pretended to be tramubstantiated 
into the real natural body and blood of Christ ; when people 
were enjoined to kneel as an act of worship paid to the real 
presence and PERSON OF CHRIST HIMSELF under the FORM OF 
BREAD. And though in King Edward's time a rubric had been 
added, declaring that the kneeling was not now required as an 


act of worship, as if to the body of Christ ; yet now by Queen 
Elizabeth's command that explanation was stricken out, for the 
very purpose that the Papists might still, in the use of the 
Liturgy of the Church of England, continue the idolatry of 
worshipping a breaden God. The Puritans objected to no 
decent posture, merely as a posture ; but they were unwilling 
to give this implied sanction to the doctrine of transubstantia- 
tion, or to open idolatry. 

They objected against the injunction of the Liturgy, that 
" When in time of divine service the name of Jesus shall be 
mentioned, due and lowly reverence shall be done by all persons 
present." This the Puritans regarded as a childish and super- 
stitious interpretation of the passage, " At the name of Jesus 
every knee shall bow ;" as though a bodily bowing, at the literal 
name, were even a resemblance of the thing intended in 
Scripture; and as though it were proper to make this distinction 
between the mere literal name of Jesus, and the other names of 
the Godhead. 

They objected to the ring in marriage ; as one of the charmed 
symbols of the POPISH SACRAMENT of marriage. The custom 
had been to bless the ring ; or to speak more truly, to CHARM it 
with a popish incantation. The popish office for consecrating 
the ring ran thus [I copy from " Challoner's Catholic Christian 
instructed ;" a work published by authority] : The priest says, 
" Let us pray." Then he says, " Bless + O Lord" (here he 
makes the sign of the Cross), " this ring, which we bless -f- i n 
thy name ; that she that shall wear it, keeping inviolate fidelity 
to her spouse, may ever remain in peace, and in thy will ; and 
always remain in mutual charity through Christ our Lord. Amen." 
" Then the priest sprinkles the ring- with holy water, and the 
bridegroom taking it, puts the ring on the fourth finger of the left 
hand, saying, In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of 
the Holy Ghost ; with this ring I thee wed," &c. 

They objected against filling up the calendar with a multitude 
of Saints'* Days which people were required to observe religiously, 
while the Lords Day was required to be made a day of merri- 
ment and sports. 

They objected to the office of Baptism* in which the priest is 
required to say, " We yield thee humble thanks * * that it hath 
pleased thee to regenerate this infant with thy Holy Spirit?' 

They objected to the service for visitation of the sick, in which 
the priest is required, upon the patient's profession of penitence, 
to pronounce this ABSOLUTION ; " Our Lord Jesus Christ, who 
hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly 
repent and believe in him ; of his great mercy forgive thee thine 

* Bogue and Bennett History of the Dissenters. 


offences ; and BY HIS AUTHORITY committed to me, I ABSOLVE 
THEE FROM ALL THY SINS, in the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen." The Puritans considered 
this not only the means of a cruel delusion, but a blasphemous 
assumption of power which belongs to God only.* 

They objected against the Burial Service, that the clergyman 
was required to say over every one, save unbaptized adults, and 
those who die excommunicated, or who have laid violent hands 
on themselves, these words : " For as much as it hath pleased 
Almighty God, of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul 
of our dear brother now departed, we therefore commit his body 
to the ground * * in sure hope of the resurrection to eternal 
life;" and again, " We give thee hearty thanks that it hath 
pleased thee to deliver this our brother out of the miseries of this 
sinful world, beseeching that it may please thee shortly to accom- 
plish the number of thine elect." 

Against such things, among others, in the service book, 1 he Pu- 
ritans objected as popish, and as tending to bring back a scheme 
of faith not only corrupt, but subversive of the true gospel ; and 
calculated to delude and destroy the souls of men. Those who 
revised the Liturgy for the Episcopal Church in America ap- 
pear to have considered that there were good grounds for 
objection in some of these instances ; for the absolution in the 
visitation of the sick is omitted ; and the burial service, instead 
of saying that God hath taken the soul of the deceased " to him- 
self *," says simply, that He hath taken it "out of the world;" and 
instead of committing the body to the earth " in sure and certain 
hope of the resurrection to eternal life," the American book reads, 
" Looking for the GENERAL resurrection in the last day." 

Such were the original complaints of the Puritans. But they 
were put 'down by the strong hand of power. Deprivations, 
fines, maiming, slitting of the nostrils, cropping of the ears, 
lingering death by famine, and cold, and sickness, in damp, un- 
wholesome prisons ; these were the arguments used to enforce 
a uniform observance of the Liturgy and rituals imposed by law. 

It was impossible that the Puritans, under these persecutions, 
should not at length enter into some inquiry concerning the 
fundamental principles of RIGHT ; and concerning the AUTHORITY 


They began to inquire what right the CIVIL POWER had to 
make laws for the faith and order of the Church ; and at once it 
flashed upon their minds, that the assumption of such authority 
is not only unscriptural, but a despotic usurpation, entirely 
destructive both of purity in religion and of all religious liberty, 
the dearest and most important of all human rights. It fol- 
* Bogue and Bennett History of the Dissenters. 


lowed, that whether the particular things complained of in the 
Liturgy were right or wrong ; the imposition of a Liturgy or of 
ceremonials or articles of faith, by parliament, was in itself a 
heinous wrong an act of despotism ; and that all the laws to 
enforce that imposition were so many acts of outrage upon the 
dearest rights of man. If the prince and parliament may impose 
articles of faith, and forms and ceremonies of worship, then that 
right was as good in Queen Mary, as in King Edward or in 
Queen Elizabeth. Then, when the sovereigns are popish the 
people are bound in duty to God to be good papists. Then 
the people must be Lutherans in Saxony, good Greek Christians 
at Constantinople ; and in old England, they must have no fixed 
faith or worship, no, nor any conscience or principle in the mat- 
ter, save meekly to change their religion with every change or 
caprice of the sovereign. 

But if the civil authority has not that power, does it reside 
in the HIERARCHY? The inquiry was first with regard to the 
rightful power of the bishops ; and secondly, with regard to their 
rightful existence. In the first case, it was discovered that if 
Queen Elizabeth's bishops have authority to alter, to change, and 
impose Liturgies and forms, then the same power resided in 
Gardiner and the Bloody Bonner ; and the consequences were 
the same as in the case of the same authority in the sovereign. 
The inquiry on the second point resulted in the conviction that 
the very office and order of prelatical bishops was unknown 
both to the early Church and to the Word of God. Wickliffe 
had indeed taught this before. And John Knox, even before he 
became acquainted with Calvin, had refused the offer of a bish- 
opric from King Edward VI. on this ground.* 

For this, Beza, who has of late been represented as favorable 
to the English Hierarchy, bestows on Knox the highest 

But if the Hierarchy of Prelates has not that power, may 
such impositions be made by the Church ? The Church"! 
These impositions are not made by the Church, in any capacity ; 
but by the queen and parliament. True, they are as much the 
Church as the bishops are ; but what right have prelatic bishops, 
whose very existence is questionable, what right have these to 
make such impositions? The Church! What is the Church? 
How does she make known her decisions ? May she impose 
Popery in one age or country, and Protestantism in another ? and 
are we still bound to change with her, however she may chance 
to change ? 

Here arose another great issue : Wliat is the Church ? Wliat 
is its organization? What is the reach and the limit of its 

* Bogue and Bennett History of the Dissenters. 



power ? The inquiry convinced the Puritans that such a thing 
as either a Catholic authoritative unity, or a national or diocesan 
Church^ with power to impose articles, creeds, liturgies or cere- 
monials upon individual congregations of Christians, was un- 
known to the New Testament and to the early ages of Chris- 
tianity, and a sheer usurpation; equally destructive of purity of 
faith or worship ; incompatible with religious liberty, and at war 
with the dearest rights of man. 

In addition to this, their inquiries resulted in the conclusion, 
that a Church gathering whole parishes the profane the unbe- 
lieving the careless and the impious ^indifferently? within its 
pale, was not only inconsistent with the ends, the character, and 
discipline of a Church as described in the New Testament ; but 
necessarily destructive of those ends ; and calculated to delude 
and deceive men to their eternal ruin. 

These were the results to which they were gradually led, as 
longer discussion and suffering brought them more and more 
fully into the light. For a long time they were in doubt with 
regard to the alleged sinfulness of SCHISM : they dared not, 
they wished not to separate. For a long time they continued to 
forbear and to suffer ; till at length they were forced to the con- 
viction that they could not worship God according to his require- 
ments, and continue with a corrupt and persecuting Church. At 
length they saw that for congregations of Christians to use the free- 
dom with which Christ has endowed them; to follow Christ where 
others depart from him; and. to worship God according to his 
Word) is NOT AND CANNOT BE scHisMATiCAL i and that if there 
be a separation or a schism, the sin is on those who DEPART FROM 




The causes which led to these investigations and results, and 
the persecutions which awaited those who dared to stand for 
purity and freedom to worship God, will be further set forth in 
the following chapter. 



Ultimate scope of Puritanic Principles. Means employed to exterminate 
them. Their rapid spread : nearly prevail in Convocation. The Puri- 
tans ask only liberty of Conscience. Not a struggle for political power. 
Remonstrances of the Puritans. The Separation begins. Persecutions. 
The nation roused. 

THE contest, thus basing itself upon the fundamental principles 
of purity and religious liberty, was likely to enlist not enthusiasts 
alone, whose zeal flames out hotly for a season and then expires, 
but the sober, the deep thinkingswhatever men had penetra- 
tion enough to perceive the mighty interests involved, and prin- 
ciple sufficient to forego every personal advantage, and to set 
themselves for the truth and for freedom, in defiance of the storm 
that was now preparing to rage. Such men there were ; men 
deeply learned in the school of Christ, and in all human wis- 
dom : men whose talents and influence the court would have 
been glad to purchase by placing them upon the bench of bish- 
ops, had they known how to barter truth and freedom for so 
tempting a prize. They had already learned how to endure ad- 
versity for Christ. They had witnessed the devastations of 
Popery. They had traced its abominations to their source, to 
the very beginnings and principles of the impositions to which 
they were now required to yield. 

It was a new thing for the people and their humble pastors to 
talk about RIGHTS. But this new idea, fraught with such con- 
sequences to the human race, and destined ultimately to revolu- 
tionize all the theories of government that the world had enter- 
tained, now started up in the minds of the Puritans. Despot- 
ism and superstition were now to encounter a new enemy ;* 
the consciousness of RIGHTS founded on a sense of RESPONSIBILITY 
TO GOD. The soul of freedom and the soul of religion were 
now to combine in rousing up the Puritans to a firmness and 
energy which no terrors could appal, and which no force of op- 
pression and no violence could subdue. Here was the spring 


of their lofty courage and of their patient endurance. Nothing 
was more certain than that the simplest forms of religious wor- 
ship, and that republicanism, both in church and state, must 
eventually spring from these principles arid this spirit. 

The queen and her leading statesmen saw the ultimate scope 
of this contest of principle, and determined to crush the rising 
doctrine of popular rights. The " Judicious Hooker" saw that 
the controversy drew deep into great questions of doctrine 
and of right. " Let not any one imagine," said he, " that the 
bare and naked difference of a few ceremonies could either have 
kindled so much fire, or caused it to flame so long ; but that the 
parties which herein have labored mightily for change, and (as 
they say) for reformation, had somewhat more than this mark 
whereat to aim." It was so indeed : the commencement of a 
momentous contest which will hereafter for ever mark an era in 
the history of the struggle between despotism and the rights of 

The queen now appointed her COURT OF HIGH COMMISSION, 
and directed a general visitation, to remove from the churches 
such papal furniture as it had been determined to dispense with, 
and to enforce the act of uniformity. That Court of High Com- 
mission figures largely in the future history of the Puritans. Its 
enormities were so indescribably oppressive and cruel, that at 
length its very name became as odious as that of the Inquisi- 
tion ; and the court was at last dissolved by act of parliament, 
with a clause that no such jurisdiction should be received for the 
future in any court whatever. As we shall have occasion so 
often to refer to the doings of that court, it is proper here to give 
a brief general account of its constitution and powers. Hume 
thus describes it : " The queen appointed forty-four Commis- 
sioners, twelve of whom were ecclesiastics ; three Commissioners 
made a quorum. The jurisdiction of the court extended over 
the whole kingdom, and over all orders of men ; and every cir- 
cumstance of its authority, and all its methods of proceedings, 
were contrary to the plainest principles of law and natural 
equity." " The Commissioners were empowered to visit and 
reform all errors, heresies, schisms, in a word, to regulate all 
opinions, as well as to punish all breaches of uniformity in the 
exercise of public worship. They were directed to make in- 
quiry, not only by the legal methods of juries and witnesses, but 
by all other means and ways which they could devise ; that is, 
by the racks, by torture, by inquisition, \>y punishment " " Where 
they found reason to suspect any person, they might administer 
to him an OATH called Ex OFFICIO, by which he was bound to 
answer all questions, and might thereby be compelled to accuse 
himself, or his most intimate friend. The fines which they 


levied .were discretionary, and often occasioned the total ruin of 
the offender, contrary to the established laws of the kingdom. 
The imprisonment to which they condemned any delinquents, 
was limited by no rule but their own pleasure. They assumed 
a power of imposing on the clergy what new articles of 
subscription, and consequently of faith, they thought proper. 
Though all of the spiritual courts were subject, since the Refor- 
mation, to inhibitions from the supreme courts of law, the 
ecclesiastical commissioners were exempted from their control." 
" The punishments which they might inflict, were according to 
their wisdom, conscience, and discretion. In a word, this court 
was a real INQUISITION ; attended with all the iniquities as well as 
cruelties inseparable from that tribunal." Such was the engine 
of persecution whose powers were so long exerted in the work 
of exterminating the Puritans. 

The visitors of the High Commission now set about the work 
of removing from the churches the utensils and implements of 
popish idolatry. Though the parishes were filled with popish 
priests, the people were generally eager for the Reformation. 
" Having been provoked with the cruelties of the late times, 
they attended the Commissioners in great numbers, and brought 
into Cheapside, St. Paul's Churchyard, and Smithfield, the 
roods and crucifixes that were taken down ; and in some places 
the vestments of the priests, copes, surplices, altar cloths, books, 
banners; and burnt them to ashes, as it were," says Neale, " to 
make atonement for the blood of the martyrs which had been 
shed there." " They broke the painted windows, rased out 
ancient inscriptions, and spoiled the monuments of the dead 
that had any ensigns of Popery on them." Though few of the 
popish priests left their parishes, yet such were the terms of con- 
formity that it was not possible to find Protestants of a tolerable 
capacity to supply the vacancies. There were, indeed, educated, 
true and tried men enough, but because they could not comply 
with the queen's injunctions they were shut out. Many places 
were long left vacant; others were filled with ignorant me- 
chanics. The Bishop of Bangor wrote that he had only two 
preachers in his diocese. And Bishop Parker found the major 
part of his beneficed clergy " either mechanics or Mass- Priests, 
in disguise ; many churches were shut up, and in some of those 
that were open, not a sermon was to be heard in some counties 
within the compass of twenty miles." So many country towns 
and villages were vacant, that in some places there was no 
preaching, nor so much as reading a homily for many months 
together. In sundry parishes it was hard to find clerical persons 
to bury the dead. In the meantime multitudes of able and 
learned preachers who had proved their faith in times of persecu- 


tion, were shut out of the churches because they could not 
conform to the habits and ceremonies without violence to their 
conscience. Among these was Miles Cover dale, one of the first 
translators of the Bible, a bishop under King Edward VI, and 
an exile (barely escaping martyrdom) under Queen Mary. 
When Queen Elizabeth wanted Parker to be consecrated arch- 
bishop, she could use Coverdale to serve the turn ; but when 
this was done he might not preach the Gospel even as a parish 
minister. Grindal, who had been his fellow sufferer in distress 
and exile, at length ventured to give him a small living; but he 
was persecuted thence and soon after died in penury at the age 
of eighty-one. " The act of Uniformity brought down his reve- 
rend hairs with sorrow to the grave." Vast crowds of people 
testified their affection by attending his funeral John Fox, the 
martyrologist, whose writings gave a severer blow to Popery in 
England, than any other human work, was for a long time left in 
distressing poverty, " till at last, by the intercession of a great 
friend, he obtained a prebend in the church of Sarum, which, 
with some disturbance, he held till death." 

Though the Puritan preachers were shut out of the churches, 
their principles had taken strong hold on, probably, the largest 
share of the Protestant clergy in the land. 

In the year A. D. 1562, the convocation of the clergy met, 
with the queen's license, to review the doctrine and discipline 
of the Church. A petition was introduced by Bishop Sandys 
and others, for doing away a long list of ceremonies and other 
things deemed abuses or superstitions. Among other things, the 
cross in baptism was to be dispensed with ; kneeling at the com- 
munion was not to be required ; copes and surplices were to be 
taken away ; saints' days, festivals and holy-days bearing the 
names of a creature, were to be abrogated ; or at least, after 
service on such days men were to be allowed to go to their 
work. A motion was made embodying most of the things 
desired in these petitions ; and after an earnest debate, the vote 
being taken, upon a division, a majority of those present ap- 
proved the motion for alteration ; the vote standing forty-three to 
thirty-five. But on counting the votes of absentees, given by 
proxy, the scale was turned by ONE VOICE ! So near were the 
clergy of England to approving the chief demands of the Puri- 
tans, the first time they were allowed to express their sentiments 
on the subject. 

It has been common for the advocates of Prelacy to ascribe 
the rise of Puritanism to the influence of Geneva. But to say 
nothing of the Puritanism of Wickliffe, or the Puritan Churches 
meeting in secret under the reign of the Bloody Mary, here is 
a singular refutation of the charge, in this vote of the English 


convocation; from .which all avowed Puritans were shut out. 
In that vote is found the name of only one who had been of the 
English Church at Geneva. Seventeen had been of the exiles 
of Strasburg, and of the Second Church at Frankfort, who had 
all strenuously contended with their brethren for the use of King 
Edward's Liturgy. On the other side were two deacons and 
two archdeacons, who had complied with the popish religion 
under Queen Mary, and who, after the accession of Queen Eliza- 
beth, adhered to Popery till they were compelled to abandon it 
or lose their places. 

Many of the parochial clergy had a strong aversion to the 
" habits." " They wore them sometimes in obedience to the 
laws, but more frequently administered without them ;" for which 
some were cited into the spiritual courts and admonished ; the 
Bishops not as yet proceeding to the extremity of deprivation. 
" The laity were more averse to the habits than the clergy. As 
their hatred of Popery increased, so did their aversion to the 
garments." There was a strong party in the court against them ; 
among whom were the Earl of Leicester, Walsingham and Bur- 
leig-h. " The Protestant populace throughout the nation were 
so inflamed, that nothing but an awful subjection to authority 
could have kept them within bounds. Great numbers refused 
to frequent the places of worship where service was ministered 
in that dress. They would not salute such ministers in the 
streets, nor keep them company." " Nay," as Neale goes on to 
say, " if we may believe Dr. Whitgift, they spit in their faces, 
reviled them as they went along, and showed such like behavior 
because they took them for Papists in disguise, for time-servers, 
and half-faced Protestants, that would be content with the return 
of that religion whose badge they wore. There was indeed a 
warm spirit in the people against everything which came from 
that pretended Church, whose garments had been so lately dyed 
with the blood of their friends and relations." 

The admonitions of the bishops failing to check the growing 
non-conformity, the queen was greatly displeased, and issued 
peremptory orders to the archbishops to enforce the strictest uni- 
formity. And now the storm was coming. Many of the bishops 
earnestly begged that they might not be compelled to be made 
the instruments of oppression against those who could not in 
conscience conform. Pilkington, Bishop of Durham, urged 
" That compulsion ought not to be used in things of liberty :" 
" that all the reformed countries had cast away the popish appa- 
rel, and yet we contend to keep it as a holy relic ;" " That many 
ministers would rather leave their livings than comply, while the 
realm had a great scarcity of teachers, many places being desti- 


tute of any."* Whittingham, Dean of Durham, wrote, that he 
" Dreaded the consequences of imposing that as necessary, which 
at best was only indifferent;" "that many Papists enjoyed their 
livings and liberty, who have not sworn obedience nor do any 
part of their duty to their miserable flock." " Alas," said he, 
" that such compulsion should be used towards us, and such 
lenity towards the Papists." Jewell, who was set to preach at 
Paul's Cross, to reconcile the people to the garments> said, " He did 
not come to defend them, but to show that they might be com- 
plied with." Piikington urged again that the debate which 
began about the vestments, " now goes farther, and reaches hold 
on the very constitution of the Church ;" and to the Puritans 
he said, " 1 confess we suffer many things against our hearts, 
groaning under them-; but we cannot take them away. We are 
under authority, and can innovate nothing without the queen."f 
Grindal) who had some time hesitated whether he could accept 
a bishopric with the popish garments, now called God to 
witness that it does not lie at their [the bishops] door that the 
habits were not taken quite away." Sandys Bishop of Worces- 
ter, and Parkhurst Bishop of Norwich, inveighed bitterly against 
the habits, and declared they would not cease to cry out against 
them, " till they were sent to hell from whence they came." J The 
Bishop of Rochester wrote to the Secretary Cecil, that in his 
opinion " the habits ought to be taken away ; and that men ought 
to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ had made them free." 
Not one of the first set of bishops after the Reformation, ap- 
proved of the habits or argued for their continuance from Scrip- 
ture, antiquity, or decency ; but they submitted to them out of 
necessity, and to keep the Church in the queen's favor. 

On the other hand, the Puritan ministers said, " We leave our 
brethren to stand or fall to their own master and desire the same 
favorable forbearance from them. All that is pretended is, that 
these habits are not unlawful, not that they are good and expe- 
dient. They were not used in the Primitive Church ; they are 
of papal use and origin. Why are we now turned out of our 
benefices, and some put in prison, only for habits ?" 

The superintendent ministers of Scotland wrote to the English 
bishops with true Scotch plainness: " If," said they, "the sur- 
plice, corner cap, and tippet, have been the badges of idolatry, 
what have the preachers of Christian liberty, and the open re- 
bukers of all superstition, to do with the dress of the Romish 
beast ? Our brethren, that of conscience refuse that unprofitable 
apparel, do neither damn yours, nor molest you that use such 
trifles. If ye shall do the like by them, we doubt not but you 
will therein please God, and comfort the heart of many." 
* Neale. t Ibid. } Ibid. Ibid. 


How often, and how falsely, it has been alleged that the Puri- 
tans were only struggling for political pre-eminency ; that it was 
a mere contest of will, to determine which party should impose 
their own peculiar forms and opinions upon the others ! What a 
strange mode these men adopted to gain political power ! To 
give themselves up to poverty, imprisonment, fines, banishment 
or death, and to continue thus to suffer from generation to gene- 
ration! It was indeed true, that, seventy years afterwards, 
when nothing was left the nation but victory or the entire loss 
of freedom, the friends of liberty with one consent rallied 
round the Puritans, its oldest and most unconquerable defenders. 
Then the strife was not by the Puritans alone, but by all men 
who stood for their liberties. But for two entire generations, the 
Puritans, as such, only stood and suffered for conscience' sake 
alone. Long after this time, even as late as the reign of King 
James, a work of Dr. Ames, entitled " English Puritanism" 
declared the principles and demands of the Puritans : " All 
we crave of his majesty and the state, is, that with his and their 
permission, it may be lawful for us to worship God according to 
his revealed will ; that we may not be forced to the observance of 
any human rites and ceremonies; so long as it shall please the king 
and parliament to maintain the hierarchy or prelacy in this king- 
dom, we are content that they enjoy their state and dignity ; and 
we will live as brethren among the ministers that acknowledge 
spiritual homage to the spiritual lordships, paying them all 
temporal duties of tithes, and joining with them in the service 
and worship of God so far as we may without our own particu- 
lar communicating in those human traditions which we judge un- 
lawful. Only we pray that the prelates and their ecclesiastical 
officers may not be our judges ; but that we may stand at the 
bar of the civil magistrate ; and that if we shall be openly vilified 
and slandered, it may be lawful for us, without fear of punish- 
ment, to justify ourselves to the world ; and then we shall think 
our lives and all we have, too little to spend in the service of our 
king and country."* 

But the queen and archbishop pressed on. There must be 
entire conformity, or ruin to those who opposed. It may well be 
left to our American public to judge what right the queen had to 
impose such things upon her Christian subjects ; and how the 
bishops could be justified in allowing themselves to be made the 
instruments of imposing with such fearful rigors, things which, 
in the judgment of so many intelligent and godly people, were 
absolutely sinful. But no man could be a bishop in those days 
without yielding this submission to arbitrary power. 

In obedience to the queen, the Commission now forbade all 
7 * Neale. 


preachers throughout the realm, the exercise of their office with- 
out a promise under the hand of each, of an absolute conformity 
in all things. Archbishop Parker cited the Puritan clergy of 
London to Lambeth, and threatened them. The Puritan clergy 
sent him " a humble supplicatory letter," protesting before God 
that it was a bitter grief to them to be obliged to refuse obedience. 
They pleaded the ancient and primitive toleration of a variety of 
rites and forms; they pleaded the injunction of Paul respecting 
things indifferent; "Let not him that eateth despise him that 
eateth not." " Let every one be fully persuaded in his own 
mind." " All men," said they, " cannot look upon the same 
things as indifferent ; if, therefore, these habits seem so to you, 
you are not to be condemned by us ; on the other hand, if they do 
not appear so to us, we ought not to be vexed by you. * * Where- 
fore we most humbly pray, that a thing which is the care and 
pleasure of the Papists, and which you have no great value for 
yourselves, and which we refuse not from any contempt of 
authority, but from an aversion to the common enemy, may not 
be our snare and crime"* But the archbishop brought them 
before the court of High Commission, and told them peremp- 
torily that they should conform to the habits, i. e. wear the 
square cap and no hats, in their long gowns ; wear hoods in the 
choir, and communicate kneeling, in wafer bread, or suffer 
punishment. Some declining to promise this, were sent to 
prison. Others, who would not enter into bonds to wear the 
square cap, were deprived of their office and benefices. 

The clergy of London were now called before the High Corn- 
mission. A man clothed cap-a-pie, in their priestly garments, 
was placed before them. The bishop's chancellor said to them 
from the bench, " My masters and ye ministers of London, the 
council's pleasure is that ye strictly keep the unity of apparel 
like this man who stands here canonically habited with a square 
cap, a scholar's gown, priest-like, a tippet in the church, and a 
linen surplice ; ye that will subscribe, write volo [I will] ; those 
that will not subscribe, write Nolo [I will not]. Be brief; make 
no words : Apparitor, call over the churches ; and ye ministers 
and masters, answer presently under penalty of contempt." 

Sixty-one subscribed ; thirty-seven refused and were presently 
suspended. Archbishop Parker said, " He did not doubt, that 
when the ministers had felt the smart of poverty and want, they 
would yet comply, for the wood was yet green." 

The secretary of state declared he could not keep pace with 
the archbishop. Grindal relented. The Bishop of Durham 
declared he would rather lay down his office than suffer such 



proceedings in his diocese : but the archbishop was above him, 
and pressed on. 

The Court of High Commission now required every clergy- 
man having the care of souls, to take an oath, that he would be 
obedient : 1. To all the queen's injunctions by letters patent ; 
2. To all letters from the lords of the privy council ; 3. To the 
articles and mandates of his metropolitan; 4. To the articles 
and mandates of his bishop, archdeacon, chancellor, &c., &c., 
in a word " to be subject to the control of all his superiors with 
patience." " To gird these injunctions the closer," says Neale, 
" there were appointed in every parish four or eight censors, 
spies, or jurats," who " were under oath to take particular notice of 
the conformity of the clergy and of the parishioners ; and to give 
in their presentments when required ; so that it was impossible 
for an honest Puritan to escape the High Commissioner." 

These were but the beginnings of the milder measures of the 
queen and the hierarchy to put down the spirit and principles 
of the Puritans. And yet Maddox, so famous for his work 
against the Puritans, extols the purity, the moderation, and the 
dear regard for liberty, exercised by " Mother Church" He 
makes it the very ground of his argument that the Puritans were 
treated with unmerited mildness, consideration, and forbearance : 
that the bishops only used their legitimate powers ; and used 
them not only with a moderation greatly to be commended, but 
which should have subdued and won the Puritans into a meek 
and grateful submission ! 

The persecution went on against the non-conforming minis- 
ters, till a fourth part of the ministers were suspended ;* among 
whom were the principal preachers, at a time when not one min- 
ister in six could compose a sermon. Many churches had to be 
closed for want of ministers to officiate. The secretary wrote to 
the archbishop to supply the churches, and release the prisoners ; 
but " His grace," says Neale, " was inexorable, and had rather 
the people should have no sermon or sacraments, than have them 
without the surplice and cap." The archbishop replied, that 
when the queen put him upon what he had done, " he told her 
that these precise folks would offer their goods and their bodies to 
prison rather than relent ; and her highness then willed him to 
imprison them." He confessed that many parishes were unserved ; 
but said that when he had sent his chaplains to serve in some of 
the great parishes, they could not administer the sacraments, be- 
cause the officers of the parish had provided neither surplice nor 
wafer bread; that he had had many churchwardens and others 
before him ; but that ke was fully tired ; for some ministers would 
not obey their suspensions, but preached in defiance of them."f 

* Bogue and Bennett Hist. Dissenters. t Neale. 


The secretary and archbishop wrote to G-rindal, Bishop of 
London, to fill up the vacant pulpits ; but he replied that it was 
impossible, there being no preachers ; all he could do was to 
supply the churches by turns ; which was far from stopping the 
murmurs of the people. Such was the state of things in Lon- 
don, where the mild Grindal, having a true concern to promote 
the preaching of the Word of God, would not act against the 
ministers further than he was compelled by superior power. In 
other parts of the kingdom, the queen's injunctions were rigidly 
executed, and the state of things was worse. 

The suspended ministers having vainly endeavored to procure 
toleration from the queen and bishops, now (A. D. 1566) tried 
the novel and anti-monarchical mode of spreading their cause 
before the people. With the throne was power ; but there was 
another tribunal that of reason, of public enlightened senti- 
ment from whose decision, if they could not at present gain 
redress, they might at least find comfort. They gave to the 
press, " A Declaration of the doings of those ministers of God's 
word and sacraments, who have refused to wear the upper apparel 
and ministering garments of the Pope's Church." They showed 
that neither prophets nor apostles used distinctive garments; 
but that the linen garment was peculiar to the sacrificing priest, 
whose office and work was entirely diverse from that of apostles 
or Christian ministers ; that this distinction of garments did not 
obtain generally in the Christian Church till after the rise of 
Antichrist; that these garments had been abused to idolatry, 
sorcery, and all kinds of conjuration ; that the popish priests can 
perform none of their pretended consecrations of holy water, 
transubstantiation, or conjurations of the devil out of pos- 
sessed persons or places, without a surplice, an alb, or hallowed 
stole; that the use of these garments is an offence to weak 
Christians, leading them into superstition and sin ; that at best 
they are but the commandments of men, and that they came 
within the rule of the apostle, " Why, as though living in the 
world, are ye subject to ordinances, after the commandments and 
doctrines of men ? Touch not, taste not, handle not :" and that 
even supposing the garments to be indifferent, yet they ought not 
to be imposed, because it was an infringement of that liberty 
wherewith Christ had made them free. 

The bishops answered this appeal. The Puritans rejoined. 
Thus was the issue laid before the bar of truth and reason, with 
the whole universal people for a jury. What was the conse- 
quence ? Puritanism spread as if both parties had been engaged 
in scattering brands of fire. 

The bishops left the field of argument, and resorted to author- 
ity. They procured a decree, 1, That no person should 



print or publish against the queen's injunctions, set forth, or to be 
set forth, or against the meaning of them : 2, That no person shall 
sell, bind, or stitch such book ; and by various provisions of this 
sort, they endeavored to silence the declaration of those princi- 
ples which neither their arguments had been able to resist, nor 
their former persecutions to repress. 

So long as the Puritan ministers were allowed to preach, they 
had been acknowledged to be the most conscientious, laborious, 
and efficient preachers in the kingdom. And many, after they 
were deprived, braving all dangers, travelled up and down the 
country, preaching wherever people could be gathered to hear~^_ 
" The Puritans," said Burleigh [one of Queen Elizabeth's minis- / 
ters of state], " are over-squeamish and nice, yet their careful \/ 
catechising and diligent preaching diminish the papistical num- 
bers." And Bancroft, the American historian, has justly said 
that " The party thus persecuted were most efficient opponents of 
Popery ;" and that " but for the Puritans, the old religion would 
have retained the affections of the multitude. If Elizabeth re- 
formed the court, the ministers whom she persecuted reformed > 
ANT, is DUE TO THE PURITANS." " How then," he asks, "could 
the party be subdued ? The spirit of brave and conscientious men 
cannot be broken. No part is left but to tolerate or destroy." 

It was now eight years since Elizabeth ascended the throne. 
The only prospect before the Puritans w:.: 'hat of a surrender 
of their liberties ; an entire submission to despotic power ; a 
giving up of the truth to a gradual relapse into the errors and 
superstition and bondage of a scheme of religion little better 
than Popery; or to make a stand: to worship God according 
to their conscience, whatever consequences might ensue. They 
had attended the parochial churches as long as their consciences 
and the fury of their persecutors would allow. Multitudes had 
gathered round their old deprived ministers for instruction, 
counsel and comfort ; often had these ministers spoken to them the 
words of eternal life, and often had they joined in prayer to God. 

At length the question arose : shall we worship God accord- 
ing to his Word? shall we enjoy the ordinances enjoined by 
Christ? These are our ministers; they have been unjustly 
deprived by the secular power. Shall they break to us the bread 
of life ? or must we return and submit to what we cannot sub- 
mit without violating our conscience, betraying the truth, proving 
traitors to freedom and to God, or must we be cut off for 
ever from Christian ordinances ? 

Long and prayerful were these deliberations. The conclu- 
sion was, that they ought to meet to worship God, and to keep 
the ordinances enjoined by Christ. Their pastors were already 


ordained, and had never been forsaken. THEY VENTURED TO 
1566 was the year of this memorable decision, from which 
so important consequences have flowed. Few of the Puri- 
tans, however, separated themselves at first. The greater part, 
though, clear as to the right, were yet reluctant to separate, 
nor did they have recourse to so unwelcome an expedient, 
till, after many years of suffering, they were compelled to 
despair of ever finding liberty of conscience in the Church 
established and controlled by the power of the state. The queen, 
hearing that some ventured to worship God in private, gave strict 
orders to the High Commission to keep the people to the 
parish churches. On the 19th of June, 1567, a congregation of 
separate worshippers was detected by the sheriff at Plumber's 
Hall ; a large number were taken into custody, and sent to 
prison, where they were kept in confinement more than a year ; 
when twenty-four men and seven women were discharged with 
an admonition to conduct better for the future. The strictest 
watch was kept up by the spies of the High Commission. The 
cruel persecutions of the Protestants in France, and the mas- 
sacres perpetrated by the Duke of Alva in the Netherlands, drove 
multitudes from these countries for refuge to England. The 
queen granted to these the liberty of their own modes of worship ; 
but not the least toleration was granted to her own subjects. 
The prisons were soon filled with the persecuted Puritans. 

In the year 1568 a league was formed by the Catholic powers 
of Europe, by which all Protestant princes were to be put down 
and the Protestant religion exterminated. Many of the Papists 
in England rose to arms. The Pope, for their encouragement, 
denounced the queen as a usurper and heretic ; absolved all 
her subjects from their oaths of allegiance, and anathematized all 
who should defend her. But papal bulls had lost their power 
in England. The Romish rebellion melted away upon the very 
rumor of the approach of the queen's army ; and the assistance, 
in men and money, which she with consummate statesmanship 
furnished, at the right time, to the Protestants of France and Hol- 
land, defeated all the designs and preparations of the Romish 
league. These disturbances called forth the enactment of new 
laws, and the imposition of new oaths, aimed principally against 
the adherents of the Pope. But though no part of the queen's 
subjects were so thoroughly imbued with an utter abhorrence of 
the popish claims and principles ; and though in the late dis- 
turbances none had been more loyal and faithful than the Puri- 
tans, the " edge of the laws that were made against Popish recu- 
sants was turned against the Protestant Non-conformists."* 

* Neale. 


This unrighteous severity, instead of bringing these non-con- 
formists into the churches, like all other methods of severity, drove 
them farther from it. " Many of the people were put in prison 
because they would not provide godfathers and godmothers for 
baptizing their children. While the Puritan ministers are de- 
prived, the Papists comply and triumph."* " In 1569, and 
before, Papists were frequent in church, in court, in place ; 
Popish priests stiJl enjoyed the great ecclesiastical livings, with- 
out recantation or penance ; yea, in simoniacal heaps, cathedral 
churches" were " stuffed with them ; the very spies and promot- 
ers of Queen Mary's reign were cherished."f The Puritans 
were harassed with increasing vigor. " Many were cited into 
spiritual courts, and after long attendance and great charges, 
were suspended or deprived. The pursuivant, or messenger of 
the court, was paid by the mile ; the fees were exorbitant, which 
the prisoner, innocent or otherwise, must pay before he could 
have his discharge." The method of proceeding was dilatory 
and vexatious. " Though witnesses were seldom called to 
support any charge, the defendant was himself put under oath 
to answer the interrogations of the court ; and compelled to turn 
his own accuser. If he refused the oath, they examined him 
without it, and forced him to submit by every species of severity." 
If the prisoner was, after all, dismissed, he was nevertheless 
generally ruined with costs, and further bound to appear again 
whenever the court should require him. 

The sufferings and remonstrances of the Puritans had now 
roused the nation. In several sessions of parliament from 1566 
to 1587 efforts were made for some toleration and relief ; but the 
queen frowned upon every such movement, and overawed the 
parliament. " She pretended," says Hume, " that in quality of 
supreme head of the Church, she was fully empowered by her 
prerogatives alone, to decide all questions which might arise 
with regard to doctrine, discipline, or worship ; and she never 
would allow her parliament so much as to take these points into 
consideration." "The parliament, in her opinion, were not to 
canvass any matters of state ; still less were they to meddle with 
the Church. Questions of that kind were far above their reach, 
and were appropriated to the prince alone, or to those councils 
and ministers with whom she was pleased to entrust them." 
" What then was the office of parliament? They might give 
directions for the due tanning of leather, or milling of cloth ; for 
the preservation of pheasants and partridges ; for the reparation 
of bridges and highways ; for the punishment of vagabonds or 
common beggars." " But the most acceptable part of parlia- 
mentary proceedings, was the granting of subsidies ; the attaint- 

* Prince. t An ancient writer quoted by Prince. 


ing and punishing of the obnoxious nobility."* " The redress 
of grievances was sometimes promised to the people ; but sel- 
dom could have place while it was an established rule that the 
prerogatives of the crown must not be abridged, or so much as 
questioned and examined in parliament. Even those monopo- 
lies and exclusive companies, which had already reached an 
enormous height, and were every day increasing to the destruc- 
tion of all industry ; it was criminal in a member, to propose in 
the most dutiful manner, a parliamentary application against any 

of them."f 

The Puritans, in their debates concerning the rights of con- 
science, had been led to investigate the principles on which 
these monstrous regal prerogatives were founded : and they were 
not only first and foremost in every effort for a parliamentary re- 
dress of abusive monopolies and other grievances, but they 
alone were the indefatigable and undaunted opponents of royal 
despotism. Was there a motion made in the House of Com- 
mons, touching these abuses and prerogatives which the queen 
guarded with such a jealous vigilance ? That motion was by a 
Puritan. Was a stirring speech made in parliament exposing 
the royal and ecclesiastical abuses, and asserting the principles 
of freedom and of popular rights ? That speech was by a Puri- 
tan. High Church principles, then as ever afterwards, were uni- 
formly leagued with the power and the assumptions of the sove- 
reign against religious tolerance and civil liberty. Hume saw, 
and abundantly recorded, in his history of the doings of parlia- 
ment from A. D. 1571 to 1580, the connection between Puri- 
tanic principles and these movements in favor of popular rights. 
He states how Strickland, in 1571, revived one of the seven bills 
which " THE PURITANS " had introduced into the former parlia- 
ment for a further reformation of religion. The parliament even 
entered upon a debate for a reformation of the Prayer-Book ; but 
the queen, incensed at the presumption of Strickland, summoned 
him before the council, and prohibited him from thenceforth 
appearing in the House of Commons. Again, " A motion," says 
Hume, " was made by Robert Bell, A PURITAN, against an exclu- 
sive patent granted to some merchants in Bristol." Bell \vas 
summoned before the council, and "returned," says Hume, 
" with such an amazed countenance, that all the members, well 
informed of the reason, were struck with terror ; and during 
some time no one durst rise up to speak of any matter of impor- 
tance, for fear of giving offence to the queen and council ;" 
" And yet, that patent which the queen defended with so much 
violence," was contrived for the profit of the courtiers, and was 
attended with the utter ruin of seven or eight thousand of her 
* Hume. t Ibid. 


industrious subjects. Again, in 1576, Peter Wentworth, whom 
Hume characterizes as " A PURITAN," and who had signalized 
himself in former parliaments by his free and undaunted spirit, 
asserted once more in a manly speech the essential principles of 
liberty ; principles which are now so clear that we wonder how 
they could ever be doubted ; but which were novel and startling 
in those days of despotic power. Wentworth was sequestered 
from the house ; and taken into custody. 

It is in connection with these illustrations of the natural 
affinity between Puritanism and freedom, that Hume records 
that sentence which has been so long and so justly celebrated, 
viz : " So absolute was the authority of. the crown, that the pre- 
cious spark of liberty had been kindled, and was preserved by 
THE PURITANS ALONE ; and it was to this sect * that THE 

Thus early did the cause of purity in religious worship iden- 
tify itself with the great cause of civil and religious freedom. 
Immense were the sacrifices with which these principles were 
maintained. They are a rich legacy. The time will come 
when in this world none need claim a nobler parentage than 
to be a son of the Puritans, an inheritor of their principles and 
their piety. 



New Canons. Supplication to Parliament. Cartwright and Whitgift. 
Private Press. New Persecuting Act. Brown and the Brownists. 
Supplication of the Deprived Ministers. Whitgift's Inquisitorial Arti- 
cles. Martin Mar-Prelate. Act against separate Worship. Sufferings 
of the Puritans. Their touching Narrative. Roger Ripon. Barrowe. 
Greenwood. Penry. 

HAVING stated the main grounds on which the Puritans rested 
their complaints and their defence, and having shown the nature 
of the efforts to reduce them, we may now pass more rapidly 
over a long series of events, consisting mainly of a continued 
recurrence of the same sort of doings. You have only to 
picture to yourselves a long struggle of thirty-two years, from this 
period to the death of Elizabeth, in which the power of the 
queen, the council, and the bishops, with their chancellors and 
spies, was exerted, with every engine of oppression ; Star 
Chamber, High Commission, oaths ex officio, harassing and 
expensive prosecutions, ruinous fines imposed without legal 
limit, imprisonments, excommunications depriving the subject 
of his civil rights; imagine these engines plied with relent- 
less severity, against all who should omit a ceremony, or scru- 
ple a habit, or say a word against the Prayer-Book, or ques- 
tion the authority of the Bishops ; then picture to yourselves 
Puritanism everywhere spreading and increasing, till the pri- 
sons are full ; families broken and scattered ; thousands of 
women and children in distress, till a voluntary exile or banish- 
ment, or death fills up their miseries ; imagine all this, and you 
have a true outline of a history which might now be filled up 
with ample and heart-rending details, extending through the life 
of a whole generation. Nor did these persecutions cease when 
James I. ascended the throne ; but new modes of persecution 
and still fiercer rigors were devised by that conceited, but heart- 
less and perfidious prince ; till our fathers chose a home on the 
shores of a howling wilderness, rather than endure life under 
such tyranny in their native land. 


We are now to draw a rapid outline of the history of the 
thirty-two remaining years of Queen Elizabeth. 

Though the Commons were forbidden to meddle with religion, 
they still ventured to present an humble address to the queen, be- 
seeching her, as head of the Church, for some reformation and 
relief. The deprived ministers at the same time petitioned the 
Convocation of clergy to use their interest with the queen for 
a redress of grievances. " If a godly minister," s,ay they, 
" omit but the least ceremony for conscience' sake, he is immedi- 
ately indicted, deprived, cast into prison, his goods wasted and 
destroyed, he is kept from his wife and children, and at last 

Instead of redress, the Convocation framed new Canons, to 
increase the burden of the Puritans. All were now required 
to subscribe to the whole Prayer-Book, and forms of ordina- 
tion ; all preachers who should not subscribe, were to be excom- 

The Archbishop of Canterbury summoned before him the 
principal clergy of both provinces, who were known to be averse 
to this compulsory uniformity, and let them know that if they 
were to continue their ministry, they must subscribe and con- 

Some of the Puritan ministers drew up an application to par- 
liament setting forth their grievances, and calling, in the spirit of 
men indignant under grievous and protracted wrongs, for re- 
dress. Those who presented this petition were thrown into pri- 
son. Cartwright, who had become famous for his courage and 
perseverance in defending the Puritan cause, and who had be- 
fore this been driven into exile, immediately drew up what he 
called an " Admonition to parliament ;" and thus commenced 
the long and famous controversy between Cartwright and the 
no less celebrated Whitgift, afterwards archbishop. Cartwright, 
on the side of the Puritans, maintained that " The Holy Scriptures 
are not only a standard of doctrine, but of discipline and govern- 
ment ; and that the Church in all ages is to be regulated by them. 
Whitgift, on the side of the established Church, maintained that 
the Scriptures are not a rule of Church discipline or government ; 
that the apostolical government was adapted to the Church in its 
infancy and persecution ; but that the government of the Church 
might be changed to adapt itself to the civil constitution and 
government in different ages and countries : and on this ground 
he defended the order, organization, and worship of the estab- 
lished Church of England." It is worthy of remark that " The 
Judicious Hooker" takes the same ground. The Divine right 
of the constitution and order of the Church of England, its ad- 
vocates had not, as yet, attained the hardihood to maintain. 


They rested its claims, not on the institutions of the Word of 
God, but on the power of the Church to arrange its own polity, 
or rather on the power of every Christian civil government to 
regulate the polity of the Church according to their will. " To 
reckon bishops and priests as the same office " [i. e. as to their 
order] Burnet declares, in his History of the Reformation, to have 
been " the common style of the age"* 

The queen, whether distrusting the prowess of Whitgift or 
otherwise, took it upon herself to answer his opponent with re- 
gal arguments. She issued her proclamation, requiring all her 
subjects who had any copies of Cartwright's Admonition, to 
bring them to their bishops, and not sell them, under pain of im- 
prisonment. The issue of the debate was according to the cus- 
tom of the times : Whitgift was in due time made an Arch- 
bishop ; Cartwright was reduced to beggary and exile. 

No man now might open his mouth against the " Church " or 
the Hierarchy, or plead for the Puritans, without ruin: no 
press in the whole kingdom might openly advocate their cause. 
In this emergency some persons procured a press which they 
worked in private, removing it from time to time to prevent dis- 
covery. The pamphlets printed at this press were scattered over 
the land. Who could destroy them ? What law could de- 
scribe them all ? Who could tell from whence they came ? The 
queen and bishops were in deep trouble ; their rage was baffled ; 
their power was vain. Archbishop Parker used every art to 
discover this press. He sent out emissaries; he employed 
spies ; but all to no purpose. Whereupon he vented his grief 
to the Lord Treasurer : " I understand," said he, " throughout 
the realm how the matter is taken ; the Puritans are justified, 
and we are adjudged to be extreme persecutors." The queen 
rebuked the bishops for being so slow in putting down the Pu- 
ritans ; but what more could the bishops do ? In every shire 
commissioners were appointed to put in execution the penal 
laws against Puritans. The queen by proclamation declared 
her royal pleasure that they should be punished with the utmost 
severity. The lords of the council added their authority and 
efforts. The Lord Treasurer made a long speech to the Com- 
missioners in the Star Chamber, in which, " by the queen's com- 
mand, he charged them with neglect ;" and said, " The queen 
could not satisfy her conscience without crushing' the Twitans"\ 
The queen said repeatedly that " She hated them worse than the 
Papists. $ 

The work of persecution receiving this fresh impulse, went 
vigorously on. " The officers of the spiritual courts planted their 
spies in all the suspected parishes to make observation of those 

* Vol. i., p. 587. t Neale. t Ibid. 



who came not to church. * * The keepers [of the prisons] 
were charged to take notice of such as came to visit the prisoners 
or to bring them relief. * * Spies were set upon these, to bring 
them into trouble. * * The conduct of the Commissioners 
was high-handed and imperious ; their under officers were 
ravenous and greedy of gain ; the fees of the court were exor- 
bitant, so that if an honest man fell into their hands, he was sure' 
to be half ruined."* 

The clergy in some dioceses had been accustomed to meet for 
mutual aid in studying and expounding the Scriptures. These 
exercises had gone under the name of Prophest/ing'S. The arch- 
bishop told the queen that those meetings were " little better than 
seminaries of Puritanism" (and quite likely they were so, since 
in them, godly men met to confer about the sense and doctrine 
of the Scriptures). The archbishop, moreover, declared to the 
queen that " The more averse the people were to popery, the 
more they were in danger of non-conformity" (nor shall we be 
inclined to doubt this also) ; " that these exercises [of Prophesy- 
ings, or conference meetings] tended to popularity, and made 
the people so inquisitive that they would not submit to the orders 
of their superiors as they ought." The queen thereupon ordered 
these meetings to be suppressed. 

'Bat the people, as well as the ministers, seem to have been 
seized with this same mania for meeting and studying the Word 
of God. Many people in various quarters had been accustomed 
to meet together on the holidays, and at other times when their 
work was done, to read the Scriptures, and to confirm one another 
in Christian faith and duty. The Commissioners ordered the 
ministers of the parishes to suppress these meetings. The people 
replied that they had conformed to the orders of the Church ; and 
that they only met together after dinner, or after supper, on holi- 
days ; and that only for the mutual instruction of themselves and 
thfir families ; for the reformation of their manners ; and for a 
further acquaintance with the Word of God. " For heretofore," 
said they, " we have spent and consumed our holidays vainly ; 
in drinking at the ale-house, and playing at cards and dice, and 
other vain pastimes ;" and " we thought it better to bestow the 
time in soberly and godly reading the Scriptures, only for the 
purposes aforesaid, and no other." But to do even this was re- 
garded (and no doubt justly regarded), as tending to Puritanism ; 
and it is worthy of remark that the Episcopal Hierarchy has not 
recovered from its ancient horror of conference meetings to this 
day. These meetings were suppressed. 

Grindal, who succeeded Archbishop Parker, A. D. 1575, 
would originally have been a Puritan, had he not felt himself 

* Neale. 


compelled to yield to the necessity of the times. His desire was 
to cherish the godly ministers who had been deprived for non- 
conformity, rather than to persecute them. He ventured not 
only to relax these persecutions, but to remonstrate with the queen. 
But. Queen Elizabeth was not to be gainsayed, even by the Primate 
of all England. By an order from the Star Chamber, she forth- 
with confined him to the house, and sequestered him from his 
archiepiscopal function for six months ; nor could he ever after- 
wards regain her favor. The work of persecution went on. 

An act of parliament was now passed, providing that " All 
persons who do not come to church, or chapel, where common 
prayer is said according to the act of uniformity, shall forfeit 20 
a month to the queen, and shall suffer imprisonment till it is 
paid.* Those who should be absent for twelve months, besides 
their former fine, should be bound with two sufficient sureties in 
a bond of 200, for their future compliance. Every schoolmas- 
ter who should not come to Common Prayer was to forfeit 10 
a month, be disabled from teaching school, and suffer a year's 
imprisonment. The effect of this was to condemn non-conform- 
ists to perpetual imprisonment. 

It is not surprising that these cruel enactments, and the fierce 
and unrelenting manner in which these laws, canons and injunc- 
tions, were enforced, should provoke some roughness of resolu- 
tion arid some asperity of language among the thousands who 
were compelled to endure such things for so many years. But 
these complaints were hushed with new and unheard of laws. 
Any who should " devise, write, print, or set forth, any book, 
rhyme, ballad, letter or writing, containing any false, seditious or 
slanderous matter, to the defamation of the queen's majesty," &c., 
should suffer death and loss of goods. " Sundry Puritans," 
says Neale, " were put to death by virtue" of this statute. 

The period to which we are now arrived, witnessed the rise of 
the BROWNISTS. These denied the Church of England to b& a 
true Church, and her ministers to be rightly ordained. The dis- 
cipline of the Established Church they denounced as anti- 
christian ; and her ordinances and sacraments as invalid. Their 
first congregation was gathered in 1583. In some respects these 
people maintained some of the fundamental principles of Congre- 
gationalism ; but they differed from Congregation alists in main- 
taining the extreme of Independency, in making the minis- 
terial office temporary, and the minister the mere creature of a 
congregation, made and liable to be made at their pleasure, 
They differed from all other Puritans in breaking off from the 
communion of the English and the continental churches; re- 

* Neale. 


fusing not only to partake of the Lord's Supper with these, but 
to mingle with them in worship and prayer. 

Their leader was Robert Brown, who had signalized himself 
for some years by travelling up and down the country, inveighing 
with exceeding bitterness against the doctrines and discipline of 
the Church ; and distinguished as much for being arraigned be- 
fore magistrates and committed to prisons ; till, as he used to 
boast, he had been " committed to thirty-two prisons, in some of 
which he could not see his hand at noon-day." The congrega- 
tion which he gathered was soon dispersed; and himself and ad- 
herents forced to flee the kingdom. At Middleburgh, in Zealand, 
he collected his Church. In 1589, he returned to England; became 
a good Churchman ; was made Rector of a Church in the Estab- 
lishment ; grew dissolute and passionate ; led a miserable life ; 
and at length, for some violent misdemeanor, was carried to prison, 
where he died in 1630, a poor decrepit miserable man, in the 
81st year of his age. 

It was long the fashion as a means of reproach to call those 
who separated from the Established Church, Brownists. The 
Puritans, and especially the Pilgrims, ever maintained this to be 
unjust; since the principles of Brown were peculiar to him and 
his immediate followers, while the principles which he held in 
common with the Puritans were not 'discovered by Brown ; they 
were as old as Wickliffe ; indeed, as the Puritans contended, 
they were as old as the Primitive Church ; as old as the New Tes- 
tament itself. 

In 1583, two ministers, Thacker and Copping-, were hanged, 
"for spreading certain books, seditiously penned by Brown, 
against the Common Prayer, established by the laws of the realm." 
This was their only crime. 

In the same year Grindal died ; and the Archbishopric of 
Canterbury passed into the hands of that merciless High Church- 
man, Wliitgift. All non-conformists were forthwith made to feel 
that the reins had been transferred to sterner hands. In the very 
first week of his official power, he issued his injunctions forbid- 
ding all preaching, catechising, and praying in any private family, 
where any besides the family were present ; requiring a rigorous 
conformity, and a new subscription to articles which he therewith 
prescribed. Two hundred and thirty-three ministers w r ere forth- 
with suspended, and forty-nine absolutely, and at once, deprived. 

The deprived ministers made a supplication to the lords of 
the Council. " We commend," say they, " to your honors' com- 
passion our poor families ; but much more do we commend our 
doubtful, fearful, and distressed consciences, together with the 
cries of our poor people, who are hungering after the Word of 
life, and are now as sheep having no shepherd." They declared 


their readiness to subscribe to the doctrinal articles, and to the 
other articles, so far as they were not repugnant to the Word of 
God ; and that if they might be but tolerated, they would make 
no disturbance in the Church, nor separate from it. " We dare 
not," said they, " say that there is nothing in the books repug- 
nant to the Word of God, till we are otherwise enlightened. 
We humbly pray that we may not be pressed to an absolute sub- 
scription, but be suffered to go on in the quiet discharge of the 
duties of our calling." " We protest before God and our Saviour 
Jesus Christ, that if by any means, which is not wicked, we 
might continue still our labors in the Gospel, we would gladly 
and willingly do anything that might procure that blessing, 
esteeming it more than all the riches in the world." 

The people of their congregations sent up their earnest peti- 
tions : " Since our ministers have been taken from us for not 
subscribing to certain articles neither confirmed by the law of 
God nor of the land, there are none left us but such as we can 
prove unfit for that office, being altogether ignorant, having been 
popish priests, or shiftless men thrust in upon the ministry, who 
knew not how else to live; men of no business, serving men, and 
the basest of all sorts ; and which is most lamentable, as they 
are men of no gifts, so they are of no common honesty, but 
rioters, dicers, drunkards, and offensive livers."* 

Archbishop Whitgift was inexorable. He blamed the coun- 
cil for receiving these petitions. He declared he could not do 
his duty to the queen, if he might not proceed without interrup- 
tion ; and that if the council would help him, he would soon 
bring them to comply. " Thus," says Neale, " this great pre- 
late, who had complied with the popish religion and kept his 
place in the University through all the reign of Queen Mary, 
was resolved to bear down all opposition, and to display his 
sovereign power against those whose consciences were not as 
flexible as his own."f 

Whitgift now called fora new High Commission, "Because," 
said he, " a commission may search for books, and examine the 
writers and publishers on oath, which a bishop cannot do be- 
cause the commission can punish by fines, which are very com- 
modious to the government; or by imprisonment, which will 
strike the more terror into the Puritans." J The commission was 

The archbishop drew up twenty-four articles for the use of the 
High Commission, by which they might compel any man on his 
oath to answer the most searching interrogatories concerning his 

* Neale. 

t Maddox blames Neale for saying that Whitgift had conformed to Popery; but 
Toulmin shows that it was even so ; as indeed otherwise he could not have kept 
his place. $ Neale. 


own doings and belief, as well as concerning all others whom he 
should know to have refused conformity in any particular. If 
any person refused this oath, he must suffer the punishment of 
contempt, by fines and imprisonment at the mercy of the court. 

When the Lord Treasurer Burleigh read these articles, he 
wrote to the archbishop, thus : " I have read over your four-and- 
twenty articles, formed in a Romish style, of great length and 
curiosity, to examine all manner of ministers in this time, with- 
out distinction of persons, to be executed ex officio mero ; and 
I find them so curiously penned, so full of branches and circum- 
stances, that I think the inquisition of Spain used not so many 
questions to comprehend and trap their priests" "I know your 
canonists can defend these, with all their particles ; but surely 
under correction, this judicial and canonical sifting of poor min- 
isters, is not to edify or reform." " According to my simple 
judgment, it is too much savoring of the Romish Inquisition, and 
is a device rather to seek for offenders, than to reform any." 

The archbishop and High Commission pressed on. It was 
alleged, that no one ought to be held to accuse himself ; but the 
admitted principle of the municipal law weighed nothing with 
the archbishop. It was alleged that, by law, no man should be 
fined beyond his estate or ability ; but the very policy and prin- 
ciple of the High Commission was, to impose ruinous fines. 
" For worshipping God in private houses, or in the woods, with- 
out the help of the Prayer-Book, or the adornment of the square 
cap, and cape, and surplice,"* for such crimes, " many were re- 
duced to the last extremity of want and suffering, so that the 
very jailors were touched with pity ; testifying that the prisoners 
had not wherewithal to purchase food or clothing, for lack of 
which numbers perished in prison." And yet Bishop Maddox 
contends earnestly, that they were treated with great leniency 
and favor by " Mother Church," and the merciful queen ! 

In the meantime, that secret press, of which we have spoken, 
was plied with diligence, and made the complaints of the Puri- 
tans ring loud throughout the kingdom. The pamphlets issued 
at this time were written with a coarseness and bitterness which 
the leading and moderate men among the Puritans disapproved ; 
but with such force of argument, with such clearness, and such 
home-thrusts at the persecuting prelates, that nothing could re- 
sist them. The bishops were stung to the quick ; the queen was 
enraged ; the kingdom was in a flame. 

The authors of these tracts were supposed to be a club of 
separatists ; but who they were is to this day unknown. The most 
famous were those issued under the name of "Martin Mar-Prelate? 
a series of violent satires against the hierarchy and its supporters. 

* Punchard. 


One was entitled " THESES MARTIANJE, i. e. certain demonstra- 
tive conclusions set down and collected by MARTIN MAR-PRE- 
LATE THE GREAT, serving as a manifest and sufficient confuta- 
tion of all that the eater-caps with their whole band of clergy- 
priests have, or can bring, for the defence of their ambitious and 
anti-christian prelacy. Published by Martin Junior, in 1589." 

Another was entitled the " PROTESTATION OF MARTIN MAR- 
PRELATE, wherein, notwithstanding the surprising of the printer, 
he maketh it known to the world, that he feareth neither proud 
priest, anti-christian Pope, tyrannous prelate, nor godless eater- 
cap, &c., &c. Printed 1589." 

high court of Parliament, from the bad and injurious dealings of 
the Archbishop of Canterbury." 

Another was " A DIALOGUE, wherein is plainly laid down the 
tyrannical dealings of the lord bishops against God's children" 

Another was entitled " HA' YE ANY MORE WORK FOR THE 
COOPER ;" written against Dr. Thos. Cooper, of Winchester, and 
said to be printed " In Europe, not far from some of the bouncing 
priests, 1590." 

BRIDGES, against the Puritans" " Oh, read over Dr. John 
Bridges, for it is a worthy work; printed over sea, in Europe, 
within two furlongs of a bouncing priest, at the cost and charges 
of Martin Mar-Prelate, Gent." 

Another, " THE COBLER'S BOOK, which denies the Church of 
England to be a true Church, and charges her with maintaining 
idolatry under the name of decency, in the habits of the priests, 
baptisms by women, gangdays, saints' eves, bishoping of chil- 
dren," &c., &c. 

Such titles are probably a fair indication of the works they 
covered, which were admitted to be rough and coarse, even for 
that age far more inclined to such a style of argument than the 

But the other side made no scruple of resorting to simi- 
lar weapons. On the side of the bishops appeared one work, 
entitled, " PAPPE WITH AN HATCHET," alias " A FIG FOR MY GOD- 
SON ; or CRACK ME THIS NUT; i. e. a sound-box on the ear for 
THE IDIOT MARTIN to hold his peace. Written by one who 
dares call a dog a dog. Imprinted by John Anoke, and are sold 
at the sign of the Crab-tree- Cudgel in Thwack-coat lane." 

Another on the same side, was entitled, " PASQUIL'S APOLOGY ; 
printed where I was; and where I shall be ready, with the help 
of God and my muse, to send you a May game of Martinism. 
Anno 1593." Another, " AN ALMOND FOR A PARROT, or an alms 


for Martin Mar-Prelate, by CUTHBERT CURRY-KNAVE." Others 
of similar titles were written in the same strain. 

The press from which the anti-prelatical pamphlets issued, 
was at length discovered. Some who had entertained it were 
" Deeply fined in the Star Chamber ; others imprisoned, and 
some put to death."* 

Four years afterwards, the severities against the Puritans 
having been continued with unabated rigor, another attempt 
was made in Parliament to stay these oppressive cruelties. A 
motion was made for inquiring into the abuses of Bishops' 
Courts, and of the High Commission ; by which subscriptions 
to articles were exacted at the pleasure of the prelates. The 
queen sent for the Speaker and demanded the bill. She said 
she " did greatly admire at the presumption of Parliament, for 
she had already enjoined them, bf the mouth of the Lord Keeper, 
to meddle neither with matters of state nor religion." She charged 
the Speaker, on his allegiance, if any such bills were offered, 
absolutely to refuse them even a reading. The man who made 
the motion in Parliament w r as taken into custody, stripped of his 
public offices and employments, incapacitated from any practice 
in his profession as a common lawyer, and kept a prisoner some 

In obedience to the queen, in 1593, a law was passed entitled 
An Act to keep her Majesty's subjects in obedience. By this act, 
any person above sixteen years, who obstinately refused for the 
space of a month to repair to some church or chapel, or usual 
place of Common Prayer; or who, at any time, by writing, 
printing, or express words, should dissuade others from coming 
to church, or who should be present at any unlawful assembly 
or conventicle, under color of any pretence or any exercise of 
religion, every such person should be committed to prison with- 
out bail till he should yield, and till he should make a prescribed 
declaration of full conformity. If any should not yield within 
three months, they were to abjure the realm and go into perpetual 
banishment. If they should not depart from the realm within 
the time limited by the quarter sessions or justices of peace, or 
if they should afterwards return without license from the queen, 
they should suffer death without benefit of clergy. 

Untold sufferings this act inflicted upon non-conformists in 
this and the following reigns. Many families were forced to 
flee into banishment. Some were put to death. The jails and 
prisons were filled. The Puritans were now greatly increased. 
Sir Walter Raleigh declared in Parliament, that there were not 
less than twenty thousand of these, divided into several congre- 
gations in Norfolk and Essex, and in the parts about London 
*Neale. i Hume. 


alone. Among the ministers of these congregations, were Smith, 
Jacob, and Ains worth, all celebrated among the Puritans, and 
the last noted as among the most learned men of the age. 

The church meeting at Islington (the same place where the 
Protestant Congregation was broken up in Queen Mary's reign), 
was discovered by the bishop's officers. Fifty-six of its mem- 
bers were sent, two and two, to the jail and prisons in and about 
London. At their examination they confessed that they had 
for some years met in the fields, in summer time, at five o'clock 
in the morning of the Lord's day, and in the winter at private 
houses : that they continued all day in prayer and expounding 
the Scriptures ; " that they dined together, and after dinner made 
a collection for their diet, and sent the remainder of the money 
to their brethren in prison/' They administered baptism with- 
out godfathers or godmothers, and received the Lord's Supper in 
the same manner in which it is now received in any New Eng- 
land Congregational Church. 

The bishops dealing with these persons with intolerable seve- 
rity, they ventured to lay their case in a petition before the 
lords of the council. In this petition they humbly but firmly 
declared the grounds of their dissent, and their readiness to main- 
tain their faith and order from the Scriptures, offering not only 
to conform, but to suffer any punishment, if they should fail to 
justify themselves from the Word of God. " But the prelates 
of this land," said they, " have for a long time dealt unlawfully 
and outrageously with us, by the great power and high author- 
ity they have gotten into their hands, and usurped above all 
the public courts, judges, laws, and charters of the land ; per- 
secuting, imprisoning, and detaining at their pleasure, our poor 
bodies, without any trial, release, or bail ; some of us they have 
kept in close prison four or five years with miserable usage, as 
Henry Barrowe and John Greenwood, now in the Fleet ; others 
they have cast into Newgate, and laden with as many irons as 
they can bear ; others into dungeons and loathsome jails, 
where it is lamentable to relate how many of these innocents 
have perished within these five years ; aged widows, aged men, 
and young maidens ; where so many as the infection hath spared 
be in woful distress, like to follow their fellows, if speedy redress 
be not had." They related how they had been seized, with vio- 
lence and outrage, in the dead of night ; their houses broken 
open, ransacked and plundered, and their families suffering every 
abuse. " We therefore humbly pray," said they, " in the name 
of C4od and our sovereign queen, that we may have the benefit 
of the laws, and the public charter of the land : namely, that we 
may be received to bail till we, by order of law, be convicted of 
some crime deserving of bonds. We plight unto you our 


honors, our faith unto God, and our allegiance to her Majesty, 
that we will not commit anything unworthy of the Gospel of 
Christ, or to the disturbance of the common peace and good order 
of the land; and that we will be forthcoming at such reasonable 
warning as your lordships shall command. Oh let us not perish 
before trial and judgment, especially imploring and crying to 
you for the same."* 

The lords of council dared not interfere. Mr. Smith lay in 
prison twelve months before he was called before the High Com- 
mission, and then he and the apprehended members of his 
church were committed to different prisons, where "they were 
shut up in close rooms, not being allowed the liberty of the 
prison." " Here," says Neale, " they died like rotten sheep, some 
of the disease of the prison ; some for want, and others of infectious 
disorders." " These bloody men" [the High Commissioners], 
says Barrowe in his supplication, " will neither allow us meat, 
drink, fire, lodging ; nor suffer any whose heart the Lord would 
stir up for our relief, to have any access to us : by which means 
seventeen or eighteen have perished in the noisome jails within 
these six years. Some of us had not one penny when we were 
sent to prison, nor anything to procure a maintenance for our- 
selves and families but our handy-labors and our trades : by 
which means not only we, but our families and children, are 
undone and starved." " That which we crave for us all, is the 
liberty to die openly or live openly in the land of our nativity. 
If we deserve death, let us not be closely murdered, yea, starved 
to death, with hunger and cold, and stifled in loathsome dun- 

Among those who perished in prison was Roger Rippon, who 
dying in Newgate, his fellow prisoners put this inscription on 
his coffin : " This is the CORPSE OF ROGER RIPPON, a servant of 
Christ, and her Majesty's faithful subject; who is the last of six- 
teen or seventeen, which that great enemy of God, the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, with his High Commissioners, have mur- 
dered in Newgate within these five years, manifestly for the tes- 
timony of Jesus Christ, &c. * * He died A. D. 1592." Many 
copies of this inscription were dispersed among his friends, for 
which some were apprehended and fined. 

The prisoners now appealed in an humble petition to Lord 
Burleigh, entreating for some examination before impartial judges. 
" If anything be found in us worthy of death or of bonds," said 
they, " let us be made an example to all posterity ; if not, we en- 
treat for some compassion to be shown in equity, according to 
law." Fifty-nine persons, from eight prisons in and about Lon- 
don, signed this petition. But no relief could be had. " Thus," 

* Neale. 


says Neale, " these pious and conscientious persons, after a long 
and illegal imprisonment, were abandoned to the severity of an 
unrighteous law ; some of them being publicly executed as 
felons, and others proscribed and sent into banishment." 

Among those put to death, were Mr. Barrow e^ a lawyer, and 
Messrs. Greenwood and Penry, ministers of the gospel. On the 
6th of May, 1693, Barrowe and Greenwood were carried to Ty- 
burn, and there hanged for the crime of non-conformity, and for 
having written against the bishops, the organization, and the 
rites of the Church of England. 

Twenty-eight years after the landing of the Pilgrims at Ply- 
mouth, Governor Bradford wrote a supposed " Dialogue between 
some young men born in New England, and sundry ancient 
men that came out of Holland and Old England." In this dia- 
logue, the " ancient men " cite the following testimony concern- 
ing Barrowe and Greenwood : " First," say they, " a famous and 
godly preacher [Phillips] having heard Barrowe's holy speeches 
and preparations for death, said, * Barrowe, my soul be with 
thine.' " " The same author," said the ancient men, " also re- 
ported that Queen Elizabeth asked the learned Dr. Reynolds 
what he thought of those two men, Mr. Barrowe and Mr. Green- 
wood : and he answered her Majesty, that it could not avail any- 
thing to show his judgment concerning them, seeing they were 
put to death : and being loth to speak further, her Majesty 
charged him upon his allegiance to speak. Whereupon he an- 
swered that he was persuaded, that, had they lived, they would 
have been two as worthy instruments for the Church of God, as 
have been raised up in this age. Her Majesty sighed and said 
no more. But after that, riding to a park by the place where 
they were executed, and being willing to take further informa- 
tion concerning them, [she] demanded of the Right Hon. Earl 
of Cumberland, that was present when they suffered, what end 
they made. He answered, A very godly end, and prayed for your 
Majesty and State. We may also add," say the ancient men, 
" that some of us have heard by credible information, that the queen 
demanded of the archbishop, what he thought of them in his con- 
science. He answered, he thought them the servants of God, 
but dangerous to the State. 'Alas!' said she, 'shall we put the 
servants of God to death ?' And this was the true cause why 
no more of them were put to death in her days."* 

But this conversation came TOO late to save Penry from death, 
who was executed about six weeks after Barrowe and Green- 
wood. In 1590 a warrant had been issued for the apprehension 
of Penry as one of the authors of Martin Mar- Prelate. Hum 
unhesitatingly ascribes the authorship to him ; but Penry denied 
* Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims, p. 422 


it ; and Martin himself clears Penry fully from the charge. Pen- 
ry fled into Scotland, where he remained three years. Ventur- 
ing at length to return home, he was seized. A manuscript 
was found in his possession containing the heads of an address 
to the queen, designed to show her majesty the state of religion 
in the realm, and the many abuses in the Church of England ; 
and to beg of her the favor of being allowed to go into Wales, 
his native country, and preach the Gospel. For this manuscript 
found in his possession, though he never published it or uttered 
it, and though it could not be proved that he intended so to do, 
he was condemned to die. 

Penry protested against this injustice. " The case is most 
lamentable," said he, " that the private observations of any stu- 
dent, being in a foreign land, and wishing well to his prince and 
country, should bring his life with blood to a violent end : espe- 
cially seeing they are most private, and so imperfect, that they 
have no coherence at all in them." He declared that he had not 
so much as looked into them for 14 or 15 months. " And," said 
he, " I thank the Lord, I remember not that that day hath passed 
over my head since under her government I came to the know- 
ledge of the truth, wherein I have not commended her estate 
unto God." " I am," said he, " a poor young man, born and 
bred in the mountains of Wales. I am the first, since the last 
springing of the gospel in this latter age, that publicly labored to 
have the blessed seed thereof sown in those barren mountains. 
I have often rejoiced before my God, as He knoweth, that I had 
the favor to be born and live under her majesty for promoting 
this work. And now being to end my days before I am jcome 
to the one-half of my years in the likely course of nature, I leave 
the success of labors unto such of my countrymen as the Lord 
is to raise after me." * * * * " An enemy unto any good 
order and policy I was never. Whatsoever I wrote in religion, 
the same did I simply for no other end than the bringing of 
God's truth to light. I never did anything in this cause (Lord, 
thou art witness) for contention, vain glory, or to draw disciples 
after me. Whatsoever I wrote or held besides the warrant of 
the written word, I have always warned all men to leave." * * 
" Far be it, that either the thought of saving an earthly life, the 
regard which in nature I ought to have to the desolate outward 
state of a poor friendless widow and four fatherless infants * * 
or to any other outward thing, should enforce me, by the 
denial of God's truth, contrary to my conscience, to lose my 
own soul. * * I do from my heart forgive all that seek 

my life, as I desire to be forgiven in the day of strict account; 
praying for them as for my own soul, that although upon earth 
we cannot accord, we may yet meet in heaven, unto our eternal 


comfort and unity ; where controversies shall be at an end. 

* * Subscribed with the heart and the hand which never de- 
vised or wrote anything to the discredit or defamation of Queen 
Elizabeth : I take it on my death, as I hope to have life after 


The archbishop was the first to sign his death-warrant. It 
was sent to the sheriff, who the very same day erected a 
gallows, and sent his officers to bid the condemned man to be 
ready, for he must die that afternoon. Thus, on the 29th of 
May, 1593, died John Penry, in the 34th year of his age. 

It will serve to show the spirit of these martyrs, as well as to 
bring home to our own bosoms the sufferings of these men 
whose firmness bequeathed us our liberties, to give here a 
part of the letter which Penry wrote to his fellow sufferers just 
before his death. 
" To the distressed, faithful congregation of Christ in London ; 

and all the members thereof, whether in bonds or at liberty. 


"MR. F. JOHNSON, &c., &c., with the rest of you both men and 
women, as if I particularly warned you all, which stand mem- 
bers of this poor afflicted congregation, whether at liberty or 
in bonds ; Jesus Christ the Great King and Prince of the 
kings of the earth, bless you and comfort you * * *. Beloved, 
let us think our lot and portion more than blessed, that now we 
are vouchsafed the favor not only to know and profess, but also 
to suffer for the sincerity of the gospel ; and let us remember 
that great is our reward in heaven, if we endure unto the end. 

* * * I testify unto you for mine own part, as I shall answer 
it before Jesus Christ and his elect angels, that I never saw any 
truth more clear and undoubted, than this witness wherein we 
stand. * * * And I thank my God I am not only ready to be 
bound and banished, but even to die in this cause by his strength ; 
yea, my brethren, I greatly long, in regard of myself, to be dis- 
solved, and to live in the blessed kingdom of heaven, with Jesus 
Christ, and his angels * * * with the rest of the glorious kings 
and prophets, and martyrs and witnesses of Jesus Christ, that 
have been from the beginning of the world ; particularly with 
my two brethren, Mr. Henry Barrowe and Mr. John Greenwood, 
who have last of all yielded their blood for this precious testimo- 
ny ; confessing unto you, my brethren and sisters, that if I might 
live upon the earth the days of Methuselah twice told, and that 
in no less comfort than Peter, James and John were, in the mount, 
and after this life might be sure of the kingdom of heaven, that 
yet to gain all this, I durst not go from my former testimony. 


* * * Strive for me, and with me, that the Lord our God may 
make me and all able to end our course with joy and patience. 
Strive also that he may stay his blessed hand, if it be his good 
pleasure, and not make any further breach in his Church, by the 
taking away any more of us as yet, to the discouragement of the 
weak, and the lifting up of the horn of our adversaries. * * * 
I would indeed, if it be his good pleasure, live yet with you to 
help you bear that grievous and hard yoke, which ye are like to 
sustain, either here or in a strange land. And, my good brethren, 
seeing banishment with loss of goods is likely to betide you all, 
prepare yourselves for this hard entreaty, and rejoice that any 
are made worthy for Christ's cause to suffer and bear all these 
things. Arid I beseech you in the bowels of Jesus Christ, that 
none of you in this case look upon his particular estate, but 
regard the general state of the Church of God ; that the same 
may go and be kept together, whithersoever it shall please God 
to send you. Oh the blessing will be great that shall ensue this 
care ; whereas, if you go every man to provide for his own 
house, and to look for his own family first, neglecting poor Zion, 
the Lord will set his face against you, and scatter you from one 
end of heaven to the other. * * * The Lord, my brethren and 
sisters, hath not forgotten to be gracious unto Zion. You shall 
yet find days of peace and rest, if you continue faithful. This 
stamping and treading us under his feet, this subverting of our 
cause and right in judgment, is done by Him, to the end that we 
should search and try our ways. * * * Let not those of you 
that either have stocks in your hands, or some likely trades to 
live by, dispose of yourselves where it may be most commodious 
for your outward estate, and in the mean time suffer the poor 
ones that have no such means either to bear the whole work upon 
their weak shoulders, or to end their days in sorrow and mourn- 
ing, for want of outward and inward comforts in the land of 
strangers ; for the Lord will be the avenger of all such dealings 
*. Let not the poor and friendless be forced to stay behind 
here, and to break a good conscience for want of your support 
and kindness to them, that they may go with you. And here I 
humbly beseech you, not in any outward regard, as I shall 
answer it before my God, that you would take my poor and 
desolate widow, and mess of fatherless and friendless orphans 
with you into exile, whithersoever you go ; and you shall find, 
I doubt not, that the blessed promises of my God made unto me 
and mine, will accompany them. * * * * Only I beseech you, 
let them not continue after you in this land, where they must be 
forced to go again into Egypt. * * * Be kind and loving and 
tender-hearted, the one of you towards the other. Labor every 
way to increase love, and to show the duties of love, one of you 


toward another, by visiting and comforting and relieving one the 
other. Be watching in prayer ; especially remember those of 
our brethren who are especially endangered * * *. I fear me 
our carelessness was over great unto our God for the lives of those 
two so notable lights of his Church, who no wrest with him ; and 
that thus he took them away, for many respects, seeming good 
to his wisdom ; so also, that we might learn to be more careful 
in prayer in all such causes. Pray, then, * * * brethren, for 
brother Mr. Francis Johnson and for me, * * that God may 
spare us unto his Church, if it be his good pleasure ; or give us 
exceeding faithfulness ; and be every way comfortable unto the 
sister and wife of the dead : I mean unto my beloved Mrs. Bar- 
rowe, and Mrs. Greenwood, whom I heartily salute, and desire 
to be much comforted in their God, who, by his blessings from 
above, will countervail unto them the want of so notable a bro- 
ther and a husband. I would wish you earnestly to write, yea, 
to send if you may, to comfort the brethren in the West and 
North, that they faint not in these troubles ; and that you also 
may have of their advice and they of yours, what to do in these 
desolate times. I would wish you and them to be 

together if you may, whithersoever you shall be banished; 
and to this purpose bethink you beforehand, where to be, 
and be all of you assured, that he who is your God in 
England, will be your God in any land under the whole 
heaven; for the earth and the fullness thereof are his; and 
blessed are they that for his cause are bereaved of any part of 
the same. Finally, my brethren, the Eternal God bless you and 
yours, that I may meet you all unto my comfort in the blessed 
kingdom of heaven. Thus having from my heart, and with 
tears, performed, it may be, my last duty towards you in this life, 
I salute you all in the Lord, both men and women, even those 
whom I have not mentioned, for all your names I know not. 
And remember to stand fast in Jesus Christ, as you have received 
him unto immortality ; and may he confirm and establish you 
unto the end for the praise of his glory. Arnen. Your loving 
brother in the patience and sufferings of the Gospel. 

24th 4th mo., April, 1503." 

This was the last work of Penry ; to give a word of en- 
couragement and comfort to his brethren who were now about 
to be driven into that exile from which our pilgrim fathers came, 
to give us, their children, our pleasant homes in this western 
world. Others have labored, and we have entered into their 
labors. How does it become the descendants of such ancestors 
never to throw away the principles which they prized so dear, 


till at least we are satisfied that they are neither the principles of 
national freedom nor of the Word of God. An age of suffer- 
ings is yet before us, before we come to the voyage of the 
Pilgrim Fathers. But upon the details of sufferings we shall 
dwell no more than is necessary to give the most rapid intelligi- 
ble account of the history. We now take our leave of the his- 
tory down to the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, a'nd shall 
employ the next chapter upon the great work of the " Judicious 
Hooker" a work written expressly against the Puritans by the 
master mind of the established Church in that age ; and which 
was not only relied upon by the persecuting hierarchy of the 
succeeding reigns as an ample and triumphant justification of 
all their cruelties, but which has stood the great text book of 
those who hate the principles of the Puritans down to the pre- 
sent day. 



The design and principles of his Ecclesiastical Polity. Its controlling in- 
fluence over the dynasty of the Stuarts. These principles examined. 
His doctrine. His notion of the power of orders. 

THE disputes which began/ about vestments and ceremonies in- 
volved deep principles concerning the rights of conscience. The 
reign of Elizabeth had not expired before the debate left the form 
of questions concerning particular grievances, and assumed a 
shape corresponding with the reality not a question about sur- 
plices, caps, and ceremonies, but a deep and solemn inquiry into 
the ground, nature, and limits of ecclesiastical power ; and the 
rights of conscience in congregations of Christians, and in indi^ 
vidual men. 

Accordingly, when Richard Hooker, in the latter part of 
Elizabeth's reign, took up his pen against the Puritans in justifi- 
cation of the severities practised by the queen, the bishops, and 
the High Commission, he spent not his strength upon the par- 
ticular impositions of kneeling at the sacrament, the surplice, the 
sign of the cross in baptism, and things of that sort, but laid down 
the broad PRINCIPLE that the CHURCH has authority to impose such 
things according' to her discretion ; and that the conscience of in- 
dividuals and of particular congregations in such matters is not to 
be regarded; but that they maybe rightly and piously COMPELLED 
to yield, by whatever PENALTIES good mother Church and the 
sovereign prince may find it necessary to employ for the attain' 
ment of that end. 

Richard Hooker was sufficiently "judicious" to perceive that 
on no principle short of this, could the rigors of the established 
Church be justified, or the CnuRch itself, as established in 
England, be vindicated, and that if this principle could be sub- 
stantiated, the robes, ceremonies and liturgies were all right ; 
and the fines, the imprisonments, the banishments, and the 
slaughters inflicted, were all proper, just, and wholesome pun- 
ishments for the coercion of the wickedly rebellious. 

Accordingly, the account which Hooker himself gives of his great 
work on Ecclesiastical Polity, is, that his design was " To write 


a deliberate and sober Treatise on the CHURCH'S POWER, to make 
canons for the use of ceremonies, and BY LAW TO IMPOSE 
AN OBEDIENCE to them, as upon her children, and this he 
proposed to do in eight books of the LAWS OF ECCLESIASTICAL 

This was cutting up the whole matter by the roots. Grant 
this principle and there is no further dispute about surplices, 
liturgies, and ceremonies; the Church may stand upon her 
authority. There are no rights of conscience in the case ; and 
if any begin to prate about conscience, or hesitate to yield a due 
conformity, they may be righteously silenced, imprisoned, banish- 
ed, hanged, or burnt. A most convenient doctrine, no doubt, for 
the prelates and the despotic queen, in her capacity of head of 
the Church! 

This was the great design and principle of Hooker, which 
he maintained with consummate ability, in a work on which he 
employed his undivided energies for a series of years. Many 
of his subordinate principles, illustrations, and arguments, are 
admirable ; and could they be separated from this great design, 
they would be most excellent. Much truth is mingled with his 
scheme (when was any monstrous error ever put forth, entirely 
dissociated from all truth, and in its own naked deformity ?), but 
that has only served to make the lurking mischief the more de- 
ceptive and dangerous. 

This great doctrine of Hooker, and the ability with which he 
maintained it, have made him the great champion of the Church 
of England, from that day to this. He became, in his day, the 
beloved of Archbishop Whitgift ; the honored of Queen Eliza- 
beth ; and when King James came from Scotland to take pos- 
session of the English throne, almost the first thing he did, was 
to inquire of the Archbishop for " his friend Mr. Hooker, that 
writ the works of Ecclesiastical Polity," and he expressed great 
sorrow, when he learned that Hooker died the year before. 
King James, when among the Presbyterians in Scotland, had 
often and earnestly professed himself, from entire conviction, a 
Presbyterian. His accession to the throne of England wrought 
a marvellous change in his opinions. " No Bishop, no King," 
became now his favorite saying ; and he affirmed that " Presby- 
tery agreed with monarchy, as well as God with devil." The 
work of Hooker was precisely to his mind. It maintained his 
lofty notions of Church prerogative ; or rather of his own pre- 
rogative as head of the Church. It was indeed as thorough- 
going a defence of despotism as could be desired. It is no 
wonder that King James (as Hooker's biographer says) did 
never mention him but with the epithet of " The learned," or " ju- 

* Life, p. 58, vol. i., Ed. Lond., 1825. 


DICIOUS," or " Reverend," or " Venerable Mr. Hooker." " Nor 
did his son, our late King Charles L, ever mention him, but with 
the same reverence ; enjoining his son our own gracious king 
[Charles II.] to be studious in Mr. Hooker's book" The Bishop 
of Exeter, in his epistle dedicatory of an edition of Hooker, ad- 
dressed to King Charles II., says, that the king "needs nothing 
more to commend the work to his majesty's acceptance, than the 
commendation it had from his royal father ; who, a few days 
before he was crowned with martyrdom, recommended to his 
dearest children, the study of Mr. Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, 
even next to the Bible" 

It was here that these infatuated scions of an infatuated fami- 
ly drank in those lessons of despotism, and that contempt for 
the rights of conscience, which, under James L, drove away our 
Pilgrim Fathers ; brought his son Charles I. to the block ; led 
on Charles II. in his iniquitous attempt to force Episcopacy upon 
the Presbyterians of Scotland ; and which lost James II. and 
his heirs the kingdom. 

That these four successive kings of the house of -Stuart might 
have been so infatuated as to intrench so presumptuously upon 
the liberties of their people, even if Hooker had never written, 
is possible. But it is more probable that the principles and rea- 
sonings of Hooker ripened the principles of despotism in these 
kings; gave conscience and boldness to their endeavors; and 
were thus the remoter but actual causes of the calamities that 
overwhelmed the dynasty of the Stuarts. I see little cause to 
doubt, that if the judicious Hooker had* never lived, America 
would not have been settled by the Pilgrims ; Charles I. would 
not have been beheaded ; Scotland would have been saved the 
burnings and butcheries of the Episcopal war ; and James II. 
would not have been driven from his throne. 

It seems proper, therefore, in our survey of the history of those 
times, to pay some particular attention to a work, otherwise so 
famous, and which was productive of so great results both in the 
religious and the political world. 

The design of Hooker, then, was, as has been stated, " To write 
a deliberate and sober treatise on the Church's power ; to make 
Canons for the use of Ceremonies ; and by law to impose an obe- 
dience to them as upon her children" 

The " Canons for the use of ceremonies," which Hooker main- 
tained the Church's power to make and impose b'y law, were the 
imposition of a Liturgy, vestments, and the cross in baptism, 
kneeling at the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and all other 
forms and rituals which the Church had, from time to time, de- 
vised and ordained. 

He rejects entirely the idea that tbe Scripture is the sole or 


a sufficient guide in matters of Church order and polity ; arid freely 
admits that the things for which the Church of England was 
persecuting the Puritans to death, are not required in the Scrip- 
tures, and have no pattern there. 

" To devise any certain form for the outward administration of 
public duties in the service of God or things belonging thereto," 
says Hooker,* " and to find out the most convenient for that use, is 
A POINT OF WISDOM ECCLESIASTICAL. It is not for a man,which doth 
know, or should know, what Order is, and what peaceable gov- 
ernment requireth, to ask, " Why should we hang- our judgment on 
the Church's sleeve ?" and " Why in matters of order, more .than 
in matters of doctrine, The CHURCH HATH AUTHORITY to es- 
tablish that for our order at one time, which at another time it may 
abolish, and in both it may do ivell * * * Laivs touching' matters 
cles concerning doctrine are not so." ."The Church, being a 
body which dieth not, hath always power, as occasion requireth, 
no less to ordain that which never was, than to ratify what hath 
been before."* 

If this principle is correct, then the rituals of popery were all 
right ; having been ordained by what churchmen acknowledge 
the true Catholic Church, and having never been changed by the 
same. On this principle, the Church of England, as well as all 
reformed Churches, was purely schismatic and rebellious ; and 
the Puseyites are only following out this principle of Hooker, 
when they declare that they " Hate the Reformation more and 

But if by " The Church" Hooker means not any Catholic 
organization, polity, or authority ; but a mere national or provin- 
cial organization ; or the body of Christians in any particular 
land, that has power in its " Wisdom Ecclesiastical," to ordain or 
alter for that particular land; then the Episcopal Church in New 
England is purely schismatic ; the Puritans, on Hooker's princi- 
ple, having as clear a divine right to ordain rites and ceremonies 
for worship, and to fix the shape of the Ecclesiastical Polity 
within their domains, according to their " wisdom ecclesiastical," 
as the Church of England has to do the same in England, or 
the pope to do the same at Rome, or the Patriarch of Constanti- 
nople within the limits of the Greek religion. 

Indeed [on p. 422] Hooker himself seems to draw this conclu- 
sion. He says, " That which the Church by her ecclesiastical 
authority shall probably think and define to be TRUE or GOOD, 
must, in congruity of reason, OVERRULE all other inferior judg- 
ments whatsoever." * * " The bare consent of the whole Church 

* Page 421. t Vol. i., p. 220. 


should of itself STOP THEIR MOUTHS, who, living" under it, dare to 
bark against it" 

On this principle, the Reformation was a rebellious schism. 
Luther was only barking at what should have stopped his mouth. 
The Church had not only consented; it had thought and defined ; 
and done so "probably" i. e. with probable correctness ; probable, 
in view of the Church itself: for why should infallibility be 
mistaken ? On this principle of Hooker, the Decrees of the 
Council of Trent must be regarded as " true and good :" a suffi- 
cient law to bind the conscience of every one, who, by birth or 
habitation, falls within the local domains of the Papal Church 

But Hooker thinks it a matter of common sense that the 
Church should necessarily have this authority. " Might we not" 
(he goes on to say) " think it more than wonderful, that nature 
should in all communities appoint a predominant judgment to 
sway and overrule in so many things ; or that God himself 
should allow so much authority and power unto every poor fam- 
ily * * * anc [ that the city of the living God, which is his Church, 
be able neither to command, nor yet to forbid anything which the 
meanest shall in that respect, and for her SOLE AUTHORITY'S SAKE, 
be bound to obey ?" * * * " Surely the Church of God in this 
business, is neither of capacity, I trust, so weak, nor so unstrength- 
ened, I know, with authority from above, but that her laws may 
EXACT OBEDIENCE, at the hand of her own children ; and enjoin 
gainsayers silence, giving them roundly to understand, that, where 
our duty is, submission, weak opposition betokens pride." 

And by this authority to command or forbid, Hooker would 
seem to think it suitable for the Church to " command to abstain 
from meats," in Lent ; or to forbid to eat the same on Fridays; 
if the Church, in her Wisdom Ecclesiastical, should think fit so 
to do. " Now," he says (p. 225), " as we live in civil society, 
the state of the commonwealth w T herein we live, both may and 
doth require certain laws concerning food. * * Yea, 

the self-same matter is also a subject wherein some true Ecclesi- 
astical Laws have place, * * * our private discretion, which 
otherwise might guide us a contrary way, must here submit 
itself. * * * In which case, that of Zonaras concerning fasts 
may be remembered : * Fastings are good, but let good things be 
done in good and decent manner. He that transgresseth in his 
fastings the orders of the Holy Fathers, the positive laws of the 
Church of Christ, must be plainly, told, that good things do lose 
the grace of their goodness when in good sort they are not per- 
formed.' And * here men's private fancies must give place to 
the higher judgment of the Church, which is in authority a mother 
over them" 

And Hooker not only claims for the Church the divine right of 


commanding and forbidding things not commanded or forbidden 
in Scripture, but he claims a sort of inspiration of the Holy Ghost, 
by which the Church is guided in making these canons. On this 
ground he puts the canons and traditions of the Church on a very 
near equality with the express injunctions of the Word of God : 
claiming for these traditions and canons the same authority over 
the consciences of men. " There is no impediment," he says 
(p. 304), " but that the self-same SPIRIT, which revealeth the things 
that God hath set down in his law, may also be thought to aid and 
direct men in finding out by the light of reason what laws are ex- 
pedient to be made for the guiding of his Church, OVER AND BESIDES 
THEM THAT ARE IN SCRIPTURE, * * and for that cause it is 
not said amiss, touching Ecclesiastical Canons, That by INSTINCT 
OF THE HOLY GHOST they have been made and consecrated by the 
reverend acceptation of the worW 

Here then is ecclesiastical tradition and usurpation claiming 
for itself equal authority with the Word of God ! By what rule 
Hooker could reject the canons " forbidding to marry," and com- 
manding to abstain from meat, or enjoining " auricular confes- 
sion," or anything else which the Church of Rome has estab- 
lished, does not appear. Sure!} 7 , for some dark ages, these had 
been consecrated by the Reverend acceptation of the world f and 
as to the " instinct of the Holy Ghost " for the making of canons, 
why should not that reside at Rome as well as at Canterbury ? at 
Canterbury under the Popes, as well as at Canterbury under the 
Prelates ? at the Council of Trent as well as in the palace at 
Lambeth ? 

But it is time to inquire what is the Church to which Hooker 
attributes this authority ? Is it each particular congregation 
of faithful men, acting for themselves alone ? By no means ; on 
his system such congregations have no rights in the case, save 
to submit to higher authority. His notion of the potential 
Church, is not of a Church, but of the Church holy and catholic. 
Yet even here Hooker is confused ; sometimes he attributes 
these awful powers to the Holy Catholic Church having catholic 
authority, and yet an ideal polity ; a catholic authority without a 
catholic organization, speaking by no authorized agents, and with 
no authorized tellers to declare her suffrages ; for he does not 
allow her to speak with final authority either by councils or 
by popes. Sometimes he vests this divine power in such an 
unorganized, undefined, impalpable catholic authority, a mere 
figment, a nonentity ; and sometimes his idea of mother Church 
is that of the supreme ecclesiastical power in a given territory. 
In neither case does he allow any share of authority to the com- 
mon people, but reposes all power in the hands of the clergy 
alone. "Hereupon," he says (i.,p. 333), " we hold that GOD'S 


CLERGY are A STATE, * * * a state whereunto the rest of 
God's people must BE SUBJECT, as touching things that appertain 
to their souls' health." 

But what if this clergy in any land are ignorant or idolatrous ? 
What if they are all sunk to the lowest abominations of popery ? 
Must the rest of God's people continue subject in that case ? 
Must we follow the blind, and antichristian, and idolatrous, be- 
cause they claim to be God's clergy ? Surely Hooker allows 
popish clergy and prelates as righteous an authority as any other. 
On this point he says expressly (p. 334), " It is with the clergy, 
if their persons be respected, even as it is with other men ; their 
quality many times far beneath that which the dignity of their 
place requireth. Howbeit, according to order of polity, they 
being the light of the world, others, though wiser and better, must 
that way be subject to them" 

But the clergy, being a state, require, on Hooker's scheme, a 
" polity" over them. " Again, for as much as where the clergy 
are any great multitudes, order doth necessarily require that, by 
degrees, they be distinguished ; we hold that there have ever been, 
and ever ought to be, in such case, at least, TWO sorts of ecclesi- 
astical persons, the one subordinate unto the other." Hooker 
here shows himself really judicious in putting in a claim for no 
more than " TWO sorts." But it is wonderful that Hooker did 
not carry out his principle to its legitimate conclusions ; why he 
did not make archbishops above diocesan bishops, patriarchs 
above these, and then crown the apex with a pope. The princi- 
ple of Hooker is unfortunately different from that of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, with regard to what "order doth require" among 
his ministers. Two of the twelve disciples once desired to be 
above their brethren by such " degrees ;" and when the ten heard 
it, they were filled with indignation. Then our Lord took oc- 
casion to settle the question of " degrees" among his ministers. 
" Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion 
over them, and they that are great exercise authority among 
them, but it shall not be so among you" 

This prelatical domination being established as the polity of 
Christ's Church, Hooker would leave nothing for the people and 
the inferior class of clergy but to obey. " Are ye able" (he says to 
the Puritans, p. 12.6), "to allege any just and sufficient cause, 
wherefore, absolutely, ye should not condescend in this contro- 
versy, to have your judgments over-ruled by some such definitive 
sentence ?" He insists that conscience ought to give way to 
higher authority the judgment of the prelates ; and that this 
" Sentence of judgment is sufficient for any reasonable man's con- 
science to build the duty of obedience upon, whatsoever his own opi- 
nion were, as touching the matter before in question" (p. 127.) To 


sustain this sentiment he quotes the law of the Jewish priesthood. 
" That man which will do so presumptuously, not hearkening 
unto the priest that standeth before the Lord to minister there, 
nor unto the judge, let him die." The scope of the principle is 
this : if the Pope, or a general council, or the bishop determine 
that we ought to kneel to the host of the Mass, and we think that 
so to do is a sinful idolatry, their sentence is enough for our 
conscience ; and their authority is above all the decisions or 
rights of conscience ; we must disobey conscience and follow 
the judgment of the priests. What could the most abject devotee 
of the papacy yield to the power of the priest beyond this ?" 

But Hooker maintains that the Church, i. e. the clergy, i. e. 
the prelates, or rather the queen, as head of the Church, has au- 
thority thus, to 

" Bind the conscience in their chains." 

And what is that law by which such impositions may be en- 
forced? The law of iheChurch? under the simple penalty of 
exclusion from her pale ? Alas, no ! Yet even if she exclude a 
man from her pale, in the time of Hooker, he loses not only his 
privileges as a member of the Church, but all his legal and civil 
rights ; he becomes an outlaw helpless and defenceless. The 
laws which Hooker is undertaking to justify are the civil laws ; 
demanding obedience to ecclesiastical canons, and enforcing 
these canons by sequestrations, fines, imprisonment, banishment, 
or death. If people will not come to church, or if coming they 
will not conform ; then any penalty is suitable that is necessary 
to compel their obedience. Even the Court of High Commis- 
sion, that arbitrary and cruel inquisition, Hooker coolly attempts 
to justify as a very suitable and proper instrument for maintain- 
ing the rights and prerogatives of the Church, against those 
whose consciences should prove refractory to her canons. " Ye 
have given us already to understand," he says, in his address to 
the Puritans, " what your opinion is in part concerning her sacred 
Majesty's Court of High Commission ; the nature whereof is the 
same with that amongst the Jews, albeit the power is not so 
great." * * * * " As for the orders which are established 
with reason and equity and the law of nature, God and man do 
all favor that which is in being, till orderly judgment of decision 
be given against, it is but justice to exact of you, andperverseness 
in you it should be to deny thereunto your willing obedience " 
(p. 128). 

Such is the outline of the design and fundamental principles 
of the famous " Ecclesiastical Polity" of the " Judicious Hook- 
er :'' a scheme of despotism, and of outrage, both upon the rights 
of man and the prerogatives of God. These are the principles 
deliberately set forth as the justification of the Church in her con- 


troversy with the Puritans. This scheme of tyranny was no day- 
dream in the time of Hooker. From the time of the brutal 
Henry VIII. through the reign of the Bloody Mary, and from 
the accession of Elizabeth to the last of the Stuarts, these 
notions so hostile to liberty, and so fraught with ecclesiastical 
usurpation and abuse, were carried into rigorous practice. By 
the bishops' mandates and by decisions of the bishops' courts ; by 
means of the High Commission and the Star Chamber, a rigorous 
and relentless enforcement of these principles was maintained, 
through fines, imprisonments, mannings, and even by the inflic- 
tion of death. 

To these principles the Puritans opposed the principle that 
GOD ALONE is LORD OF THE CONSCIENCE : that every man has 
an indefeasible right to freedom in the worship of God : that 
what God has not enjoined to be observed as a ritual in his 
worship, man has no right to impose, even in things indifferent ; 
much less where an enlightened conscience cannot yield to such 
impositions, without, in its own view, incurring the guilt of 
idolatry, or of some other heinous sin against God. 

But the scheme of Hooker is not yet completed. If the Church 
is to claim such prerogatives over the judgment and conscience, 
she must in all reason have corresponding benefits to bestow. 
If " God's clergy" that " State" ecclesiastical whereunto " the 
rest of God's people must be subject," are to possess these high 
powers, that clergy should also be endowed with the power of 
conferring some peculiar benefits, for which mankind are depend- 
ent on their hands. The claim for such ghostly authority has a 
natural connection with a corresponding ghostly power for the 
bestowal of spiritual gifts. 

Accordingly, we find the two claims joined in the great work 
of the judicious Hooker. He makes his scheme of doctrine cor- 
respondent to his polity. Having given to the clergy authority to 
rule the conscience by their enactments over and beyond the 
word of God, he attributes to them also, power to bestow grace 
by sacraments, over and beyond the sanctifying power which the 
gospel conveys, under the power of the Holy Spirit, when it is 
received by faith alone. 

I am fully aware that Hooker is, by many, considered as pure- 
ly and strongly evangelical ; and that the evangelical party in the 
English Church earnestly claim him as maintaining the doctrine 
of justification by faith. There are indeed many passages in 
Hooker w r hich, taken alone, would speak that doctrine. There 
are many passages of exceeding excellence and pungency. So 
there are in the famous Oxford Tracts, while, nevertheless, the 
scheme is substantially that of Rome. The truth is, in Hooker 
the " Iron mixed with miry clay." His work, in fact, const:- 


tutes the transition state between the evangelical doctrines of the 
Reformers, and that system compounded of Armenianism and 
Popery, which attained its maturity under the auspices of Arch- 
bishop Laud ; and which is now again extending over the Eng- 
lish and American Episcopal folds, under the name of Pusey- 
ism: and hence, like the Prayer-Book, Hooker is most consistently 
and cogently quoted by both sides in the Puseyistic controversy. 
From this conflict of doctrine in Hooker, as well as from other 
circumstances, many have supposed that the last books of the 
Ecclesiastical polity were written by another hand, and falsely 
ascribed to Hooker. But as to the matter of fact, the evidence, as 
well as the common verdict, is on the other side. Indeed it 
should not surprise us that Hooker should be deeply imbued 
with what is now called the Puseyite doctrine, it was begin- 
ning to prevail in his day, and without it, his scheme of polity 
would have been incoherent and monstrous. Whatever may be 
thought of subordinate points in his scheme of doctrine, we shall 
see that its determining principles and features are those of the 
scheme which denies the doctrine of justification by faith alone, 
and teaches rather justification by the sacraments and interven- 
tions of a sacerdotal priesthood. 

But let Hooker set forth the fundamentals of his scheme in his 
own words. 

"Instruction and prayer," he says (p. 561, Book V.), "are 
duties which serve as elements, parts, or principles " [rudiments], 
" to the rest that follow, in which number the sacraments of the 
Church are chief. The Church is to us that very mother of our 
new birth. * * * As many, therefore, as are apparently to 
our judgment born to God, they have the seed of their regenera- 
tion by the ministry of the Church ; which useth to that end and 
purpose, not only the word but the sacraments, both having gen- 
erative force and virtue" He continues (p. 595), " That saving 
grace which Christ originally is, or hath for the general good of 
his whole Church, by sacraments he severally deriveth into every 
member thereof. Sacraments serve as the instruments of God, 
to that end and purpose. * * * Where the signs and sacra- 
ments of his grace are not either through contempt unreceived, 
or received with contempt, we are not to doubt but they REALLY 
VHVE what the-y promise and what they signify. For we take not 
Baptism, nor the Eucharist, for bare resemblances, or memorials 
of thing-s absent, neither for naked signs and testimonies assuring 
us of grace received before, but (as they are indeed and in verity) 
for MEANS EFFECTUAL, whereby God, when we take the sacra- 

- " For," he adds (I., p. 602), " as we are not naturally men 


without birth, so neither are we Christian men of the eye 
of the Church of God but by new birth ; nor (according to the 
manifest ordinary course of divine dispensation) new born, but 
by that BAPTISM, which both declareth and maketh us Chris- 
tians. In which respect, we justly hold it to be the door of our 
actual entrance into God's house, \hzfirst apparent BEG INNING OF 
LIFE ; a seal perhaps to the grace of election before received, but 
to our sanctification here, A STEP THAT HATH NOT ANY BEFORE 
IT." In this connection, Hooker expressly opposes this doctrine 
to the notion of justification by faith alone ; declaring that notion 
to " draw very near unto the error " of " the old Valentinian 
Heretics," and maintaining on the contrary that " Baptism is 
necessary to take away sin;" and demanding " how we have the 
fear of God in our hearts, if care of delivering" men's souls from 
sin do not move us to use all means for their baptism" The 
implication is, that believe, repent, love God, give the whole soul 
to Christ, it all avails nothing for your justification; nor does 
your inward sanctification have even the beginning of life, until 
you have come under " the ministry of the Church "'in baptism ! 
Paul taught a different doctrine. Abraham was justified by faith 
years before he received circumcision as a sign and seal of that 
justification. Surely the .sacrament could not for the first time 
bestow that which Abraham had before. The Publican, not the 
Pharisee, went down to his house justified ; but was there any 
ritual or sacrament in the case ? In Christ Jesus neither circum- 
cision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision ; but a new crea- 
ture. The new creature is then a thing entirely distinct from the 
sacrament, and baptism can by no means be considered identi- 
cal with regeneration. 

As to the efficacy of sacraments, Hooker does not suppose 
that they confer grace from any physical operation of the ele- 
ments, nor yet from the mere action of the Priest (nor perhaps 
does the " opus operatum " of the Papists mean to go so far as 
this), but he says (p. 594), " Their chiefest force and virtue con- 
sisteth not herein" [viz. as " warrants for the security of belief," 
or as marks of visible " distinction to separate God's own from 
strangers "] " but they are heavenly ceremonies which God has 
sanctified and ordained * * * as marks whereby to know 
WHEN God doth impart the vital or saving 1 grace of Christ unto 
all that are capable thereof; and secondly as means conditional 
which God requireth in them unto whom he imparteth the grace. 
Seeing therefore that grace is a consequent of sacra- 
ments, a thing' which accompanieth them as their end, a benefit 
which they have received from God himself it may 

hereby be understood that sacraments are necessary " &c. 

The difference between this doctrine and the opus operatum of 


Papists appears to me rather nominal than real. What is the 
practical difference between holding that the CEREMONY itself con- 
fers grace, and holding that God kirns elf invariably confers grace 
SIMULTANEOUSLY with the performance of the ceremony? The 
grace in either case comes from God ; in the one case directly, 
simultaneously with the sign, and in the other mediately, through. 
the sign. In both cases the grace is alike dependent upon the 
will and work of the officiating priest. And so closely are the 
two allied in the mind of Hooker, that he even dips into the 
question of the priest's intention in the performance of the sacra- 
ment ; a question so important in the popish scheme as to involve 
the whole efficacy and validity of the sacrament " Further- 
more," says Hooker (p. 597-8), " * * we must note, that inas- 
much as sacraments are actions religious and mystical, which na- 
ture they have not unless they proceed from a serious meaning 
(and what every man's private mind is, as we cannot know, so 
neither are we bound to examine) ; therefore always, in these 
cases, the known intent of the Church doth generally suffice ; and 
where the contrary is not manifest, we may presume, that he who 
outwardly doeth the act, hath inwardly the purpose of the Church 
of God." 

Let us now turn to Hooker's account of the grace conferred by 
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. He supposes that a person 
has in baptism received " that grace available unto eternal life ;" 
but he seems also to suppose that, owing to the decays and wear 
and tear of the gracious principle in the rough vicissitudes of life, 
it needs to be recruited and aided by the virtues of another sacra- 
ment. Thus he says (vol. ii., p. 1) : '-And it may be that the grace 
of baptism would serve unto eternal life, were it not that the state 
of our spiritual being is daily so much hindered and impaired after 
baptism" " Whereas," he continues, " in our infancy we are in- 
corporated unto Christ, and by baptism we receive the grace of 
His Spirit, without any sense or feeling of the gift which God 
bestoweth ; in the Eucharist we so receive the gift of God * * 
that his flesh is meat and his blood drink, not so surmised in im- 
agination, but TRULY ; even so truly that through faith we perceive 
in the body and blood sacramentally presented, THE VERY TASTE 
OF ETERNAL LIFE : the grace of the sacrament is here AS THE 

How is this grace bestowed ? What is its nature ? Do we 
receive anything else than the influences of the Holy Spirit in 
the Lord's Supper? Is there any other Real presence of Christ, 
than his presence by his Spirit ? Certainly there is, according to 
Hooker. And here he teaches plainly what Pusey dares only 
teach covertly and circuitously. Hooker maintains (vol. i., p. 
591), that besides the " True actual influence of grace," " the DI- 



VINE SUBSTANCE of Christ is in all the members of Christ, 
is with the whole Church, and whole with every part of the 
Church, AS TOUCHING HIS PERSON;" that " The parti- 
cipation of Christ imported, besides the PRESENCE OF CHRIST'S 
PERSON, a true actual influence of grace ;" that thus we partici- 
pate Christ partly by imputation, * * * partly by habitual and 
REAL INFUSION." He moreover denies that this participation 
involves " any mixture of the substance of his flesh with ours." 

The papists hold that the priest accomplishes the mysterious 
act of transubstantiation, by using the mysterious words hoc est 
corpus [this is my body] ; which the priest pronounces in a low 
voice, as a sort of mystic incantation (from which practice come 
the cant words of profane jugglers, " Hocus Pocus"). Hooker 
believes in no transubstantiation of bread, but he holds to the 
mystical virtue of the words. " Furthermore," he says, " seeing 
that the grace which we here receive doth no \vay depend upon 
the force of that which we do presently behold, it was of necessity 
that WORDS of express declaration should be added unto the visible 
elements that the one might infallibly teach, what the other doth 
most assuredly bring to pass." 

" How cometh it to pass, 1 ' he inquires, " that so few words of 
so high mystery beinguttered, they receive with gladness the gift 
of Christ, and make no show of doubt or scruple ? He answers : 
" The bread and cup are his body and blood, because they are 
causes instrumental, upon the receipt whereof, the participation of 
his body and blood ensueth ****** They" [the bread and wine] 
" are made such instruments as mystically, yet truly, invisibly, yet 
really, work our communion with the person of CHRIST." 

But how do they become such causes instrumental ? Hooker 
thus explains it :" " This hallowed food, through concurrence of 
divine power, is in verity and in truth unto faithful receivers in- 
strumentally a cause of that mystical participation" * * " The 
real presence of Christ's most blessed body and blood, is not there- 
fore to be sought/or in the sacrament" * * " Whereupon there 
ensueth a kind of transubstantiation IN us ; a true change both of 
body and soul ; an alteration from death to life." " The very 
letter of the word of Christ," says Hooker, " gives plain security 
that these mysteries do, as nails, fasten us unto his very cross; 
that by them, we draw out, as touching efficacy and force and 
virtue, even the blood of his gored side." * * " This bread hath 
in it more than the substance which our eyes behold ; this cup, 
hallowed with solemn benediction, availeth to the endless life and 
welfare of both soul and body ; with touching it sanctifieth ; it 
enlighteneth ivith belief; it truly comforteth us unto the image of 
Christ." "What moveth us," he adds, to argue HOW LIFE 
SHOULD COME BY BREAD: our duty being here to take 


what is offered, and most assuredly to rest persuaded of this , 
p. 2.] 

Such was the doctrine of the "Judicious Hooker:" and such 
was the doctrine prevalent in the English Church in the latter 
part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It is not the doctrine of 
the Thirty-Nine Articles ;. but that it is the doctrine of the offices 
of the Church in the Prayer-Book, every one may see by a 
careful recurrence to those offices ; and we have before seen how 
this confusion between the Articles and the offices arose. Thus : 
in the office for Baptism, the minister is directed to say, " Seeing 

* * that this child is now regenerate" &c., then follows the 
prayer : " We yield thee hearty thanks, Most Merciful Father, 
that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this infant with thy Holy 
Spirit, and to receive him for Thine own child by adoption" &c. 
So in the Catechism before Confirmation ; the child is made to 
answer, " My sponsors in Baptism, wherein I was made a child 
of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." Many 
evangelical churchmen have tried to explain away these words : 
but to all such attempts the recent charge of the Bishop of Con- 
necticut has given an everlasting quietus, at least in Connecticut. 
" I know," says the bishop, " that there are some whose views 
are, perhaps, tinctured with the theology I have referred to " [of 
Edwards, Wesley, and Whitfield] " who would willingly explain 
away the language of our baptismal office. But after all I have 
heard and read, I believe there is but little real difference of sen- 
timent among churchmen on this subject." * * * " How- 
ever amicable it may be to make the doctrine more acceptable to 
dissenters, the effort must be unavailing. THE FUNDAMENTAL 


(Charge, p. 22.) 

It is well. This doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration is indeed 
evangelical denominations who agree with the theology either of 
Edwards, Wesley or Whitfield. Let no Jure-Divino Church- 
man hereafter tell us that the two systems are the same. The 
bishop has spoken no less truly than authoritatively, that the two 
systems are DIRECTLY and FUNDAMENTALLY opposed : and that 
all efforts to reconcile us to that doctrine "must be unavailing." 
We hold it as " another Gospel." 

The doctrine of Hooker on the Lord's Supper is the doctrine 
evidently implied in the office for administering the same, in the 
Prayer Book. The consecration ; the laying on of hands on " all 
the bread, and on every vessel in which there is any wine to be 
consecrated ;" the going over again with the ceremony of conse- 
crating more when the first supply is not sufficient; the Oblation 


(the poor remains of the lifting of the Host, under the notion of 
offering the body of Christ as a renewed sacrifice), the remaining 
after the communion reverently to eat and drink what remnants 
are left of the consecrated meats, that nothing be carried out of the 
church ; all these things come from the same popish origin, and 
are but in accordance with the same popish notions of the sacra- 
ment which Hooker maintains. I think it must be evident, that 
Hooker's scheme, as it was the scheme of those who gave the 
offices of the Church of England their final establishment, is the 
true exposition of those offices : and that those who have labored 
to " soften or explain away" the language of those offices, are en- 
tirely mistaken. Puseyism is but the legitimate revival of that 
scheme which was laid down more fully and unequivocally 
near three centuries ago, by that great Oracle of the English 
Church, " the Judicious Hooker." 

One thing is further necessary to be noticed to complete the 
system of Hooker, and that is the account which he gives con- 
cerning the power of Orders; i. e. the ghostly power conferred 
upon priests by the mystery of ordination. He says (vol. ii., p. 
82), " The power of the ministry of God" [of God's ministers] 
" translateth out of darkness into glory ; it raiseth men from the 
earth, and bringeth God himself from heaven ; by blessing visible 
elements it maketh them invisible grace ; it daily giveth the Holy 
Ghost ; it hath to dispose of that flesh which was given for the 
life of the world, and that blood which was poured out to redeem 
souls ; when it pour till malediction upon the heads of the wicked, 
they perish ; when it revoketh the same, they revive. O wretched 
blindness, if we admire not so great a power ! * To whom 

Christ hath imparted power both over that mystical body which 
is the society of souls, and over that natural [body] which is 
himself, for the knitting of both in one (a work which antiquity 
doth call the making of Christ's body) ; the same power in such 
is both termed a kind of mark or character, and acknowledged 
to be indelible."* 

* With this scheme of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and of the power 
conferred by Ordination, set forth by Hooker and revived by the Oxford Tracta- 
rians, Mr. Chapin (Editor of the Chronicle of the Church, at N. Haven) appears 
fully to agree. In his recent work entitled " A Churchman's reasons for not joining in 
sectarian worship" in which he sets forth the impropriety and sin of an Episcopa- 
lian's partaking of the Lord's' Supper, or joining in acts of public worship with 
other denominations, he declares that the elements " at the time of consecration" 
become " a means WHEREBY grace is given to us f that "all the power that has been 
transmitted from the apostles vests in the ministers of our" [the Episcopal] " Church-" 
that Episcopal ministers and they alone " have this power of consecration * * * 
" by the act of consecrating" [the bread and wine] " to make" them " the AUTHORI- 
TATIVE sign," * * and "not only a sign, but also a MEANS WHEREBY GRACE 
is GIVEN ;" that for this reason, in regard to the Lord's Supper administered by 
other denominations, " We" [Episcopalians] " know it is not the same table that 
our Father gives us" * * " that their table is not the table our Father has erect- 


Can we wonder at the terrific power of the Popish priesthood, 
and at the abject submission in which they hold the souls of their 
votaries, when such a doctrine concerning priestly prerogatives 
is put forth in the very bosom of Protestant Christendom ; while 
the great author of such a scheme of despotism and superstition 
continues to be held in the highest reverence, and retains for two 
centuries, and more, the epithet of " The Judicious" given him 
by one of England's worst, weakest, and meanest kings ? 

Hooker's biographer notices with becoming exultation, that 
when Hooker's work was first printed, one of the Cardinals at 
Rome declared to Pope Clement VIIL, " That though he had 
lately said he never met with an English book whose writer 
deserved the name of author, yet there now appeared a wonder 
to them, and it would be so to his Holiness, if it were in Latin ; 
for a poor obscure English priest had writ four books of laws 
of Church Polity, and in a style that expressed so grave and 
such humble majesty, with clear demonstration of reason, that in 
all their reading they had not- met with any that exceeded him." 
And the Pope, when he had heard the books of Hooker read, 
declared that " this man deserves indeed the name of author 
nothing is too hard for this man's understanding." It is to us 
no matter of wonder that Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity should 
meet with such favor at Rome. 

It is well known how much Rome thinks of such "Holy mor- 
tifications" as fastings, flagellations, going barefoot, and wearing 
sackcloth. In some austerities of this sort Hooker also seems to 
have engaged to some purpose ; for his biographer records, as 
one of the things for which Hooker is to be had in veneration, 
that " his body was worn out, not with age, but with study and 
holy mortifications" 

Nor did Hooker seem to be altogether freed from all ideas of 
the efficacy of Auricular Confession and priestly Absolution. 
His biographer records, that " About one day before his death, 
Dr. Saravia, who kneio the very secrets of his soul (for they were 
supposed to be confessors to each other\ came to him, and after 
a conference of the benefit, necessity, and safety of the CHURCH'S 
ABSOLUTION, it was resolved that the Doctor should give him 
both that and the Sacrament the day following. To which the 
Doctor came, and after a short retirement and privacy, they 
returned to the company." Thus died Hooker, enveloped still 
in the fogs of the " necessity and safety" of auricular confession 
and priestly absolution ! We wonder still less that Hooker should 
be in such esteem at Rome. 

ed for us" (these Italics are his own), " and consequently we may not join our- 
selves to it;" and he adds, "Iftkty are right, we have corrupted this Holy ordinance; 
but if we are right, they have lost sight of its true nature." 


These principles both of Church Polity and of doctrinal faith, 
were the principles against which the Puritans of that day were 
called to stand. They are the principles which are now once 
more raising their front, and with honied accents striving to win 
their way once more to the reverend acceptance of the world. 
Happy will it be, if the friends of freedom and of Christ, warned 
by the sad lessons of days that are past, take the alarm and 
stand manfully for the truth and for freedom before it shall be 
too late. 


Change of James' Principles on his accession to the English throne. 
Hampton Court Conference. Hundred and forty-one Canons. Extra- 
judicial decision of the twelve Judges. Gathering of the Pilgrim 
Church. Flight to Holland. 

KING JAMES, of Scotland, came to the throne of England, A. D. 
1603. The prelates dreaded his accession, and spoke of it with 
apprehension as the coming of the " Scotch Mist." The Puri- 
tans entertained hopes of relief; for King James was not only a 
Presbyterian, but he had subscribed the solemn League and Co- 
venant. He had, often and solemnly, declared his full conviction 
of the pre-eminent purity and excellence of the Church and wor- 
ship of Scotland. Once standing in the General Assembly at 
Edinburgh, with his bonnet off and his hands lifted up to Heaven, 
he praised God that he was born in the time of the true light of 
the Gospel, and in such a place as to be king of such a Church, 
the sincerest [purest] kirk in the world. " The Church of Geneva," 
said he, " keep Pasche and Yule " [Easter and Christmas], " what 
have they for them ? They have no institution. As for our neigh- 
bor kirk of England, their service is an evil said Mass in English ; 
they want nothing of the Mass but the liftings. I charge you, 
my good ministers, doctors, elders, gentlemen, and barons, to 
stand to your purity, and to exhort the people to do the same." 

While James was making these professions, he was at that 
very time " carrying on a correspondence with the English no- 
bles and bishops, and promising to continue that very Liturgy 
which he derided as an ill-said Mass.* The whole character of 
James was that of a false and lying prince : and he used to glory 
in his double dealing as the art and mystery of "kingcraft." 
After his arrival in England, he sank into drunkenness and low 
debauchery; and would yet from time to time with tears express 
his hopes, that " God would not impute unto him his infirmity." 
Queen Elizabeth and her courtiers saw through this shallow 

* Bogue and Bennett, p. 52. 


monarch, and discovered u that he was either inclined to turn 
Papist, or to be of no religion."* Such was the man who was 
now made head of the Church of England. 

While James was on his way to take possession of the throne, 
a petition was presented to him, called the Millenary petition 
from being subscribed by nearly one thousand ministers ; desir- 
ing the reformation of certain ceremonies and abuses of the 
Church. The University of Oxford came out against the peti- 
tion. " Look," said they, " upon the reformed church abroad : 
whenever the desires of the petitioners take place, how ill it suits 
with the state of monarchy." They commended the present 
church establishment to the sovereign, as the great support of the 
crown, and calculated to support unlimited subjection. The 
heads of the University of Cambridge wrote a letter of thanks to 
the Oxonians ; and bade the " poor pitiful Puritans" (whom they 
style homunciones miserrimi) " to answer their almost a thousand 
books in defence of the hierarchy, before they pretend to dispute 
before so learned and wise a king." The truth was, that the Pu- 
ritans desired nothing more than a fair field to discuss the preten- 
sions of the hierarchy ; but if they wrote, their books were stop- 
ped by the censorship of the press ; if they were suspected of 
uttering anything against the hierarchy, they were imprisoned or 
banished ; and for an unpublished manuscript found in his pos- 
session, Penry had been hanged. 

The king, however, to furnish himself with some pretext for 
his own apostasy from principles which he had so often avowed 
and so solemnly subscribed, or to give some color of regard to 
the millenary petition, and possibly to indulge himself with an 
opportunity of displaying his own theological lore, appointed a 
conference between himself and the two parties, at Hampton 
Court. James himself nominated nine bishops and about as 
many other dignitaries, and four Puritan divines to conduct the 
conference for their respective parties. 

The first day of the conference, was between the king and 
bishops and deans alone ; the Puritans being excluded. The 
king made a speech in commendation of the hierarchy of the 
Church of England, and congratulated himself that he was now 
come into the promised land ; that he sat among grave and rev- 
erend men, and was not a king as formerly without a State. He 
assured them, that he had not called this assembly for any inno- 
vation ; and declared, " That howsoever he had lived among the 
Puritans, yet since he was ten years old, he ever disliked their 
opinions ; and as Christ said, though he lived among them, he 
was not of them." 

At the next day's conference, four Puritan ministers were 
* Bp. Burnet, in Bogue and Bennett. 


admitted. When Dr. Reynolds petitioned that the ground for 
confirmation might be examined, Bancroft fell upon his knees, 
and begged the king to stop the Doctor's mouth, according to an 
ancient canon, that schismatics are not to be heard against their 
bishops. The king at last settled the question by repeating his 
now favorite maxim, " No bishop, no king." With regard to the 
garments, the Puritan ministers ventured to express a doubt 
" whether the power of the Church could bind the conscience with- 
out impeaching Christian liberty" The king interrupted them at 
once : " As to the power of the Church in things indifferent," said 
his majesty, " I will not argue that point with you ; but answer 
as kings in parliament, Le Roi s' avis era"- -the king shall think 
of that : "but as to liberty in ceremonies, I will have none of 
that ; I will have one doctrine, one discipline, one religion, in sub- 
stance and in ceremony ; never speak more to that point, how far 
you are bound to obey."* 

The Puritans desiring that the clergy might have liberty for 
assemblies once in three weeks, and that in rural deaneries they 
might have the liberty of prophesying [conference meetings], 
" the king broke out into a flame, and told the ministers they 
were aiming at a Scots' Presbytery : which," says he, " agrees 
with monarchy as well as God with the devil." Taming to the 
bishops, he put his hand to his heart, and said, " My lords, I 
may thank you that these Puritans plead for my supremacy ; for 
if once you are out and they are in place, I know what would 
become of my supremacy; for no bishop, no king." Then 
turning to Dr. Reynolds, and rising from his chair, the king said, 
" If this be all your party have to say, I will make them conform, 
or I will harry them out of the land, or else hang them, that is 
all." Throughout the conference, the Puritan ministers were 
treated with brow-beating and insult. As the king grew hot 
against the Puritans, the bishops cheered him on with flatteries 
so gross as to have disgusted any other than one so weak and 
vain as King James. They broke out into exclamations of 
wonder at his wisdom ; called him the Solomon of the age. 
Bancroft fell on his knees and said, " I protest my heart melteth 
for joy, that Almighty God of his signal mercy has given us such 
a king as from Christ's time has not been." The lord chancel- 
lor said, " He had never seen the king and priest so fully united 
in one person." The king was equally well pleased with him- 
self, and wrote to a Scotsman, that he " had soundly peppered 
off the Puritans." 

The third day of the conference, was between the king and the 
bishops and the dignitaries alone. The king defended the court 
of High Commission, the subscription to the Prayer-Book, and 

* Neale. 


the oath ex officio. One of the lords ventured to insist that the 
proceedings of the High Commissioners Courts' were like the 
Spanish Inquisition, and that by the oath ex qfficio men were 
forced to accuse themselves. But the king vindicated the whole, 
and declared that if any man would not be quiet and show his 
obedience, " the Church were better without him, and he were 
worthy to be hanged." Archbishop Whitgift cried out in 
transport, " Undoubtedly your majesty speaks by the special 
assistance of God's Spirit." 

A few alterations of the Prayer-Book, agreed upon by the king 
and bishops, was all the reform that this conference afforded. 
One result of the Hampton Court Conference, however, was our 
present English translation of the Bible, suggested by the Puri- 
tan ministers, who complained of the inaccuracy of the version 
then in use. 

When things were arranged by the king and bishops, the four 
Puritan ministers were called in, and the Hampton Court Con- 
ference, closed by the declaration of the king, that he "would 
have no arguing ; let them conform, and that quickly too, or they 
should hear from it."* 

The king issued his proclamation, warning the Puritans that 
there was to be no toleration of non-conformity : they must con- 
form or suffer the extremities of the law. In his opening speech 
to his first Parliament, he acknowledged the Romish Church to 
be his Mother- Church : he said he would indulge their clergy if 
they would but renounce the Pope's supremacy, and his pre- 
tended power to dispense with the murder of kings. He wished 
there might be a means of uniting the two religions ; and said 
he would be content to meet them midway. But as to the Pu- 
ritans, said the king, " Their sect is insufferable in any well gov- 
erned commonwealth."* 

The bishops were pleased with this speech. The thoroughly 
Protestant part of the nation heard, with alarm, the king's offer 
to meet the Papists half way. " What does he mean ? Is there 
no difference between Popery and Protestantism but the Pope's 
Supremacy ? Is this the only point on which we are separated 
from Rome ?" 

In the Parliament, it appeared that the principles of the Puri- 
tans had taken deep root. There were those who dared to assert 
the liberties of the people with such spirit and vigor that the king 
declared " he would rather live like a hermit in a forest, than be 
king over such a people as the pack of Puritans that overruled 
the lower house." 

The convention of the clergy, meeting at the same time with the 
Parliament, busied themselves in framing a book of one hundred 
* Neale. t Neale, and Prince. 


and forty-one canons, aimed chiefly at the Puritans. Whoever 
should speak against the Apostolic character and authority of the 
Church of England, or against its worship, or articles or ceremo- 
nies, or its government by archbishops, bishops, deans, or arch- 
deacons, or against the form and manner of ordaining bishops, 
priests or deacons, or separate from its communion, or allow the 
claims of any other in England to be a Church ; whoever should 
do any of these things, was to be by that very deed excommu- 
nicated, with no power anywhere to restore him save the arch- 
bishop, and that only after repentance and public " revocation of 
his wicked error." Nor was this excommunication a simple ex- 
clusion from the privileges of the Church : the excommunicated 
person was incapable of suing for his just dues ; he might be 
imprisoned till such time as he should make satisfaction to the 
Church ; and at his death he must be denied Christian burial.* 

Whitgift died a few weeks after the Hampton Court Confer- 
ence, and the fierce Bancroft was made Archbishop of Canter- 
bury in his room. It was he who in A. D. 1588, first publicly 
maintained in England, the right of Diocesan Bishops above 
Presbyters by divine appointment ; the common doctrine of the 
Reformers, and of those who preceded them for centuries, having 
been, that by divine institution, Bishops and Presbyters were 
one and the same : and that a Diocesan is superior to a Presby- 

* One or two of these 141 Canons will serve as a specimen of the whole: 

Canon 4. " Whosoever shall affirm the form of God's worship in the Church of 
England established by law, and contained in the book of Common Prayer, and 
administration of sacraments, is a corrupt, superstitious, and unlawful worship, or 
contains anything repugnant to Scripture, let him be excommunicated, ipso facto, 
and not restored but only by the Archbishop, after his repentance and public revo- 
cation of his wicked error." 

Canon 6. " Whosoever shall affirm that the rites and ceremonies of the Church 
of England as by law established, are wicked, anti-christian, or superstitious, or 
such as being commanded by lawful authority, good men may not with a good con- 
science approve, use, or as occasion requires, subscribe, let him be excommu- 
nicated," &c. 

Canon 11. " Whosoever shall affirm that there are within this realm other meetings, 
assemblies, or congregations of the king's born subjects, than such as are established 
by law, which may rightly challenge to themselves the name of lawful churches, let 
them be excommunicated," &c. 

Canon 7. " Whosoever shall affirm that the government * * of the Church 
of England, by archbishops, bishops, deans, archdeacons, and the rest that bear office 
in the same, is anti-christian or repugnant to the Word of God, let him be excom- 
municated." &c. 

Canon 8 denounces the same upon those who speak against the forms of 

Canon 14 denounces the same upon such as shall add to, or leave out any part of 
the prayers. 

Canon 18, in like manner enjoins bowing at the name of Jesus. Four others re- 
late to the wearing of habits ; one forbids requiring parents to be present at the bap- 
tism of their children, and forbids their answering as God-parents. The book con- 
cluded with denouncing the anathema of excommunication upon all who should 
deny that the Assembly making the Canons was not the true Church of England by 



ter, only bylaws of human appointment. Bancroft was a rough, 
violent man, and a declared enemy of the religious and civil 
rights of the people ; the creature and tool of the royal preroga- 

To the tender mercies of this man, the Puritans were now 
committed, with canons, laws, excommunications, oaths ex offi- 
cio, prisons, and every other engine of tyranny made ready to 
his hand. He began his career as archbishop, by reviving the 
strict observance of all the saints'-days and festivals of the 
Church ; by reinstating the use of capes, caps, and hoods ; by 
obliging the clergy to subscribe the articles over again, with an 
additional avowal, "that they did it willingly and from the heart." 
Three hundred Puritan ministers, who had not separated from 
the established Church, were silenced, imprisoned, or exiled in 
the year 1604* 

The king, to strengthen his hands against the Puritans, sum- 
moned the twelve judges into the Star Chamber, to obtain, by 
an anticipated and extra-judicial decision of the judges, some 
sanction for further severities which he contemplated. Having 
secured their sentence in favor of the past proceedings of the 
High Commission, and of the lawfulness of imposing the oath 
ex officiO) the king propounded to the judges, "whether it be an 
offence punishable, and what punishment they deserved, who 
framed PETITIONS, and collected a multitude of hands thereto, to 
prefer to the king in a public cause, as the Puritans had done : 
with an intimation to the king, that if he denied their suit, many 
thousands of his subjects would be discontented." The judges 
replied, that it was an offence punishable at discretion, and very 
near to treason and felony in the punishment ; for it tended to 
raising sedition, rebellion, and discontent among the people." 
In this decision, all the judges agreed. 

Thus, the king might make such orders in religious affairs as he 
pleased, and enforce the same by his High Commission. Should 
any attempt even to petition for redress, they were fineable at 
pleasure, and in danger of suffering an arraignment for felony or 
treason. " A later convocation" says Bancroft,! " denied every 
doctrine of popular rights, asserting the superiority of the king 
to the Parliament and the laws, and admitting, in their zeal for 
absolute monarchy, no exception to the doctrine of passive obe- 
dience. Thus the opponents of the Church became the sole 
guardians of popular liberty : the lines of the contending parties 
were distinctly drawn ; the established Church and the mon- 
arch on one side were arrayed against the Puritan clergy and 

The whole body of the clergy of London were summoned to 
* Bancroft's U. States. f Hist., vol i., p. 209. 


Lambeth to subscribe over again ; " but such numbers refused, 
that the churches were in danger of being disfurnished." In 
twenty-four counties, there were 746 of the clergy who refused 
to conform ; and it was estimated that the whole number of non- 
conforming clergy in the kingdom, was from thirteen to fifteen 
hundred. Again and again had the Puritan ministers been sifted 
out of the Church by new tests ; but the more the plants of free- 
dom were weeded out, the more they seemed to grow. At the 
time when the Pilgrims were driven to Holland, it was supposed 
that riot twenty ministers known to be in favor of their princi- 
ples were left in the Church of England ; but in a few years 
they were as numerous as ever. 

The bishops were amazed ; and shrunk from carrying out 
fully the measures which they had begun. But great were the 
sufferings endured by the Puritans, both ministers and people. 

These oppressions at length became intolerable ; and the 
victims, seeing no hope of relief, and no prospect before them 
but destruction, began to turn their eyes to a foreign shore. 

rHere we come to the commencement of the WANDERINGS OF 
THE PILGRIM FATHERS. The Church of the Pilgrims, who first 
landed on the rock of Plymouth, was organized in England in 
the year 1602 ; and in 1607 and 1608 was driven to Holland by 
the persecutions under King James I. Bradford, the second 
governpr of the colony of Plymouth, and one of the Pilgrims in 
all their perils and wanderings, gives this account of the forma- 
tion of that Church : " When by the travail and diligence of 
some godly and zealous preachers, and God's blessing on their 
labors, as in other places of the land, so in the North parts, many 
became enlightened with the word of God, and had their igno- 
rance and sins discovered by the word of God's grace, and began 
by his grace to reform their lives and make conscience of their 
ways ; the work of God was no sooner manifest in them, but pre- 
sently they were both scoffed and scorned by the profane multitude ; 
and the ministers were urged with the yoke of subscription or else 
must be silenced, and the poor people were so urged ivith appari- 
tors and pursuivants, and the Commission Courts, as truly their 
affliction was not small." For years they continued to bear these 
persecutions. At length they began, says Bradford, " To see 
further into these things by the light of God's Word. By this 
they saw, that the imposition of these " Base and beggarly cere- 
monies " was " unlawful ;" that the " Lordly and tyrannous 
power of the prelates" was contrary to the gospel ; and that their 
authority to " load men's consciences" "ought not to be sub- 
mitted to." 

They therefore, " shook off this yoke of anti-Christian bondage, 
and as the Lord' s free people joined themselves by a covenant of 


the Lord, in a Church estate, in the fellowship of the gospel, to 
walk in all the ways made known, or to be made known unto 
them, according to their best endeavors, whatever it should cost 

Thus was formed the first of the Puritan Churches of New 
England ; the model of the rest. It was the. fruit of a REVIVAL 
OF RELIGION ; composed of men who had tasted the grace of 
God ; who felt that the rites and forms of the established Church 
were indeed " beggarly" inadequate to express, and too narrow 
to give scope to the warmest devotions of a new-born sou]. 
They saw that the power of the bishop was hostile to true reli- 
gion ; and discovered that it was unfounded in the Word of God. 
They perceived that a national establishment, in which churches 
are gathered indiscriminately by " street rows," must ever 
embrace the world in its bosom, and of necessity must, in spite 
of all articles, become corrupt in doctrine and in discipline, in 
order to suit the views and taste of a world, which, in its present 
state, is at enmity with God. In perilous times they came out 
from a Church gathered, organized, and governed on worldly 
principles ; and regarded their coming out from such a Church, 
as coming" out from the WORLD. At the sacrifice of all their 
worldly interests, and with the certain prospect of imprisonment 
or exile, they formed themselves into a Church of Christ ; taking 
his Word for their guide, and on the very principle of denying 
entirely the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, and of grace 
conferred by priestly prerogatives and interventions ; doctrines 
which naturally constitute the basis of all national Church 
establishments; and which are very sure, sooner or later, to 
insinuate themselves into all Christian institutions, where no 
distinction is made between the parish and the Church. 

The Church which had been gathered in 1602, became so 
numerous, and its members were so widely scattered in Not- 
tinghamshire, Lincolnshire, and in some parts of Yorkshire, that 
in 1606 it became two distinct churches. Of one of these Mr. 
John Smith was pastor. Of him, Governor Bradford says, he 
" was an eminent man in his time, a good preacher and of good 
parts." He was one of them who had been sent to prison for 
worshipping separately in 1592. Driven out by persecution, 
he and many of his Church settled at Amsterdam, where he and 
many of his people became Baptists. Mr. Smith being at a 
loss for a proper administrator immersed himself, and then 
administered the rite to others. Afterwards he embraced the 
Arminian sentiments ; and in 1610 he died. Soon after his 
death, many of his people considering it wrong to flee fromper- 

Bradford's Journal, in Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims. 


secution, returned to England, and, as is generally supposed, 
became the first congregation of the English General (or Arrni- 
nian) Baptists.* 

The other branch of the Church became the first of the Pil- 
grim Fathers of New England. The pastors of this Church, were 
Richard Clifton and John Robinson. William Brewster, who 
came with the Pilgrims to New England, was Teacher and 
ruling Eider. Gov. Bradford, who was one of the Pilgrims both 
in their flight to Holland and in their removal to America, says 
of Mr. Clifton, that he was " A grave and fatherly old man when 
he first came to Holland, having a great white head ; and pity it 
was that such a reverend old man should be forced to go into 
exile. But it was his lot, and he bore it patiently. Much good 
had he done in the country where he lived, and converted many 
to God by his faithful and painful ministry. Sound and ortho- 
dox he was, and so continued to his end." 

Of John Robinson, his friends uniformly spoke in terms of 
the profoundest veneration, and his enemies with the utmost 
respect. " He was a man," says Gov. Bradford, " not easily 
paralleled for all things, * * a man learned, of solid judg- 
ment, of a quick sharp wit, of a tender conscience, and very 
sincere in all his ways." Baylie, the bitter enemy of the Puri- 
tans, says, that " Robinson was a man of excellent parts, and the 
most polished and modest spirit that ever separated from the 
Church of England."! The writings of Robinson tlrat remain, 
fully justify the highest character given of him by his friends. 
Able, clear, discriminating, deeply learned, patient, laborious, 
honest and candid, in an uncommon degree for this world,- 
uniting distinguished humility and meekness with dauntless 
courage, Robinson was a fine model of the Puritan character; 
and happily was he mated in his compeer and fellow laborer 
Brewster, who, on' their arrival at Leyden, was chosen teaching 
elder of the same Church. In his early years, Brewster had been 
employed in an embassy to the Low Countries, and had long 
been known as a man of character and capacity. He had long 
been distinguished for his piety, and for his zeal and sacrifices 
in endeavoring to do good. For thirty-six years he bore his 
part in all the sorrows and sufferings of the Pilgrim Church; 
the last twenty-four of which were spent at Plymouth, where, 
at the age of four-score years, he died, the venerated patriarch of 
the first generation of the Pilgrim Fathers of New England. 

The Church of which Robinson and Brewster were ministers, 
was composed of choice men. It required a deep insight into 
God's Word, great sincerity of conscience, a religious integrity 
too strong to be overcome by losses or perils, or to be seduced 

* Murdock's Mosheim, iii., p. 219. f Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims, p. 453. 



by the love of ease, of comfort, or a home. It required some 
deep experience of the work of God in the soul to make one 
willing to come out of the established Church, and to join his lot to 
that of the persecuted Puritans. Ignorant minds could not appre- 
ciate the Puritan principles. Fanatical minds would be worn out 
by the long continued sufferings that were to be endured ; and 
by the caution and steadiness required to walk warily amid the 
treacheries and snares that surrounded the Puritans. Light and 
wavering spirits were sure to be brushed away by the rough hand 
of adversity. Nothing but intelligence to discern the truth, love 
to God, deep principles of religious integrity and faith, and cour- 
age and firmness too strong for earth or hell to overcome, could 
make a man a Puritan in those days. God was about to plant 
the Christian "religion pure in a new world ; in a vast and impor- 
tant field, that had been kept vacanl, in reserve for the last great 
scene of the great drama of all time ; and in the furnace of 
affliction he chose the instruments of that great work. Its fruits 
the world has just begun to reap, in results of freedom, enterprise, 
and pure religion, which have already made the embarkation of 
the Pilgrims, and the sorrowful parting at Delft-Haven, one of 
the great epochs in the history of time. 

The Pilgrim Church was now on the eve of its removal. " They 
could not," says Bradford, " continue in any peaceable manner j 
but were hunted and persecuted on every side." Some were 
seized and imprisoned, others had their houses watched night 
and day, and with difficulty escaped. Most were glad to flee, 
leaving their houses and their means of livelihood. " Seeing 
themselves thus molested, and that there was no hope of their 
continuance," says Bradford, " they resolved to go into the Low 
countries, where they heard was freedom of religion for all men.'' 1 
Yet here difficulties awaited them ; it was a strange land, and 
they were to sojourn among a people of a strange speech. The 
people there lived mainly by trades and traffic ; but the Pilgrims 
were accustomed only to till the ground. The adventure 
seemed to them almost desperate ; yet liberty of conscience and 
a pure religion seemed to them worth more than life. 

But their persecutors were unwilling to let them escape. The 
ports and harbors were closed against them. They were obliged 
secretly to hire mariners at exorbitant rates, to take them in at 
remote and unfrequented places ; and even here they were be- 
trayed and surprised, and put to indescribable losses and suffer- 
ings. Out of many such troubles Bradford relates two as speci- 
mens of the whole. A great company had hired a vessel to take 
them from Boston in Lincolnshire, and made an agreement with 
the master to be ready on a certain day, to take them and their 
goods in at a convenient place, where all would be in readiness. 


" So," says Bradford, " after a long waiting, and large expenses, 
though he kept not day with them, yet he came at length and 
took them in the night. And when he had them and their goods 
aboard, he betrayed them ; having beforehand complotted with 
the searchers and other officers so to do ; who took them and 
put them into open boats, and there rifled and ransacked them, 
searching them to their very shirts for money ; yea, even the 
women, further than became modesty ; and then carried them 
back into the town, and made them a spectacle and a wonder- 
ment to the people who came flocking on all sides to behold 
them."* Stripped of their money, books and goods, they were 
brought before the magistrates and committed to prison ; when, 
after being detained a month, the greater part were dismissed ; 
but seven of the principal men were kept in prison to the next 
assizes. Among those who were set free, was Bradford, then a 
young man of 18 years ; who, after many perils by land and sea, 
found his way to Holland. Breivster was among the number 
of those detained in prison. 

The next year (1608), a large number agreed with the master 
of a Dutch ship to take them in between Grimsby and Hull, 
" where was a large common a good way distant from any town." 
The women and children and go^ds were sent to the place in a 
small bark, while the men were to make the best of their way by 
land. The bark arriving a day too soon, and the sea being rough, 
the women prevailed with the seamen to put in at a small creek, 
where at low water they^were aground. " The next morning 
the ship came ; the captain sent his boats to bring off the men 
whom he saw walking on the shore. But after the first boat-full 
was got aboard, and he was ready to go for more, the master es- 
pied a great company both horse and foot, with bills, and guns, 
and other weapons, for the country was raised to take them." 
" The Dutchman seeing that," says Bradford, "swore his coun- 
try's oath, and having the wind fair, weighed anchor, hoisted sails, 
and away." " But the poor men which were got on board, 

were in great distress for their wives and children, which they 
saw thus to be taken ; and even left destitute of their helps ; and 
themselves also not having a cloth to shift them with more than 
they had on their backs, and scarce a penny about them ; all 
they had being on board the bark. It drew tears from their eyes, 
and anything they had, they would have given to be on shore 
again." Bradford might well attest this, for he was among those 
on board the ship. A storm arose. For seven days they saw 
neither sun, moon, nor stars. They were driven to the coast of 
Norway. The mariners themselves gave up hopes of life, and 
" once with shrieks and cries gave over all as if the ship had been 

* Bradford, in Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims. 


foundered in the sea. But when the men's help wholly failed," 
says Bradford, " the Lord's power and mercy appeared for their 
recovery ; for the ship rose again, and gave the mariners courage 
again to manage her; and if modesty should suffer me," says 
Bradford, " I might declare with what fervent prayers they cried 
unto the Lord in their great distress, especially some of them, 
even without any distraction, when the water ran into their very 
ears and mouths, and the mariners cried out. We sink, they 
cried, Yet, Lord, thou canst save ; yet, Lord, thou canst save." 

That ship bore the destinies of New England. It was not 
the will of God that she should perish. The storm abated; 
they arrived at their haven. 

But that pitiful group of their companions left on the shore, 
and on that bark : the men seeing the troops surrounding them 
made their escape ; all save some who offered themselves to re- 
main, to do what could be done for the women and children. 
" But it was pitiful," says Bradford, " to see the heavy case of 
these poor women in this distress ; what weeping and crying on 
every side ; some for their husbands that were carried away in 
the ship; * others not knowing what should become of 

their little ones : others melted in tears, seeing their poor ones 
hanging about them, crying %r fear and quaking with cold." 

The women were apprehended, and hurried with their children 
from place to place, from one magistrate to another. To im- 
prison women and innocent children for no crime than that of 
going with their husbands and fathers^ seemed hard. They had 
no houses to which the magistrates might send them : their 
houses and livings being sold. They were, however, made to 
suffer for some time, till at length their persecutors, not knowing 
what to do with them, suffered them to go at large. 

These were the mothers of New England. This was the 
beginning of their pilgrimage. It was with more comfort and 
hope, twelve years after this, that they greeted the wintry coasts 
and unbroken forests of the New England shore. 

Under such perils and difficulties, did the Pilgrim Fathers 
commence their wanderings. Another summer, and the hus- 
bands and wives and children, were gathered together in Hol- 
land, where they could worship God in peace. 



Question of Removal. Meeting for Deliberation. Guiana. Application 
to the King. The Arrangements. Farewell Meeting. Parting at Delft- 
Haven. The Departure. The Mayflower upon the Ocean. The Com- 
pact. Provincetown Harbor. Landing at Plymouth. 

.THE Pilgrims, now arrived in the Low Countries, found them- 
selves strangers and homeless in a strange land. The language, 
the customs, the dress, the employments of the people, all 
were strange. The scanty resources of the Pilgrims having 
been much diminished by disadvantageous sales, by the plun- 
dering? of their persecutors, and by the expenses of their em- 
barkation and voyage, they found immediate need of their best 
foresight and endeavor, to sustain themselves and their children. 
" For," says Bradford, " though they saw fair and beautiful cities 
flowing with abundance of all sorts of wealth and riches, yet it 
was not long before they saw the grim and grizzled face of 
poverty coming on them like an armed man, with whom they 
must encounter, and from whom they could not flee." 

But even then, religion and Heaven were uppermost in their 
minds. These were the difficulties which they had looked in 
the face from the beginning ; and when the trial came they were 
neither disappointed nor dismayed. 

Findingtheir brethren of the Churches, of Johnson, Ainsworth, 
and Smith, who had come out before them, now fallen into 
unhappy disputes at Amsterdam, where the Pilgrim Church 
came first to sojourn ; they thought it best to remove be- 
fore they were any way engaged in these dissensions. They 
removed to Leyden, " a fair and beautiful city," says Bradford, 
" and a sweet situation ; but wanting in that traffic by sea which 
Amsterdam enjoyed, it was not so beneficial for their outward 
means of living and estates." * * * " Being now here 
pitched, they fell to such trades and employments as they best 
could ; valuing peace and their spiritual comfort above any 


riches whatsoever ; and at length they came to raise a compe- 
tent and comfortable living, with hard and continual labor." 

Bradford, the future Governor of Plymouth Colony, bound 
himself apprentice to a silk-dyer. Brewster became a teacher, 
and afterwards a printer ; giving to the world such books as the 
press was not allowed to strike off in England. "Being thus 
settled,'' says Bradford, " they continued many years in a com- 
fortable condition, enjoying much sweet and delightful society." 
* * * " And many came unto them from divers parts of 
England, so as they grew a great congregation."* The number 
of communicants in the Church appears to have been about 300. 
" Never," said the magistrates of the city, after these people had 
continued among them for ten years, " Never did we have any 
suit or accusation against any of them." " Such was the humble 
zeal and fervent love of this people towards God and his ways," 
says Bradford, " that they seemed to come surprisingly near the 
primitive pattern of the first Churches." * * * " They lived 
together in love and peace all their days, without any considera- 
ble differences, or any disturbances that grew thereby, but such 
as was easily healed in love; and so they continued, until by 
mutual consent they removed into New England." 

It was in the year 1617 that the Pilgrims began to discuss the 
question of removing to America. The thought originated with 
Robinson and Brewster ; who, after mature deliberation, imparted 
their thoughts to other members of the congregation.! Bradford 
and Winslow, who both participated in these deliberations, have 
set down the reasons which weighed for this removal. The 
country was hard ; many had spent their estates and had been 
forced to return to England. Most of them were in adult life, 
and some far advanced in years when they were driven from 
home by persecution ; and now " old age began to come on some 
of them." " Many of their children," says Bradford, " that were 
of the best dispositions and gracious inclinations, having learned 
to bear the yoke in their youth, and willing to bear part of their 
parents' burden, were oftentimes so oppressed with their heavy 
labors, that although their minds were free and willing, yet their 
bodies bowed down under the weight of the same, and became 
decrepit in their very youth." But the prevalent licentiousness 
of the youth around them, the numerous temptations and evil 
examples of the place, were sources of great apprehension to the 
Pilgrims. " Some became soldiers ; others took upon them far 
voyages by sea, and others some worse courses tending to disso- 
luteness and danger of their souls." The Sabbath was almost 
universally profaned in Holland. This was a great grief to the 
Pilgrims, and a snare to their children. They were loth that 
* Bradford in Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims. t Winslow. 


their posterity should live under any other government than that 
of England. " Lastly," says Gov. Bradford, " (and that was not 
least) a great hope and inward zeal they had of laying some 
good foundations, or at least to make some way thereunto, for 
the propagating and advancing the Gospel of the kingdom of 
Christ in these remote parts of the world, " tliougli they should, be 
as stepping-stones unto others for performing so great a work" 

Well were these reasons for removal weighed. Well were the 
dangers considered. The Pilgrims were now in mature life, 
when the rashness of enterprise, if not enterprise itself, begins to 
decline. They had had experience of hardships ; and if perse- 
cution may be supposed to kindle up a resolute enthusiasm, 
they had now been settled in quietness for eight years. It was 
sober judgment, religious principle, and prudent forecast, laying 
plans for the building up of Christ's kingdom unfettered and free 
in the wilderness of the New World. Advanced in years as the 
Pilgrims were, they could not expect to enjoy the comforts of 
life, or to behold anything beyond the first beginnings of a new 
settlement, alone and unsupported on a distant wilderness shore. 

The project of a removal to America was made public for the 
scanning of all. Some, full of hope, dwelt upon the brighter 
aspects of the enterprise. Others, as caution or despondency 
prompted, thorght of the hazards and dangers of the scheme. 
They dwelt upon the casualties of the seas ; for, at that time, a 
voyage across the Atlantic was not like a voyage of the present 
day. They alleged the weak bodies of the men and women, 
worn out with age and labor; the miseries of a wilderness ; the 
danger of famine and nakedness ; the changing of their diet and 
water, as likely to infect their bodies with weakness or disease ; 
the well known treachery and ferocity of the savages ; their *' de- 
light to flay men alive with the shells of fishes, cutting off the 
limbs by piece-meal, and broiling them on the coals, and causing 
men to eat the collops of their flesh in their sight while they 
lived." " And surely," says Bradford, " it could not be thought 
but the hearing of these things could not but move the bowels 
of men to grate within them and tremble." In reply, the more 
courageous answered, That all great and honorable actions were 
always accompanied with difficulties. It was granted that the 
dangers were great, but not desperate, and the difficulties many, 
but not invincible. " All, through the help of God, by fortitude, 
might either be borne or overcome." Besides, it was alleged, 
their condition was not ordinary ; they were now only in exile, 
and in poor condition ; as great miseries might befall them in 
their present residence ; the twelve years' truce were now out, and 
nothing was to be heard but the beating of drums and preparing 



for war; the events whereof are always uncertain. The Span- 
iards might prove as cruel as the savages of America.* 

Having freely discussed in private, the subject of a removal, 
the congregation at length set apart a time for fasting and prayer 
for the Lord's direction. This done, they came together for sol- 
emn deliberation, and for a final decision of this great affair. 

" Some, and none of the meanest," says Bradford (and he was 
one of that important council), " had thoughts and were earnest 
for Guiana." Sir Walter Raleigh, a few years before this, had 
written a description of that country, which he calls " a mighty, 
rich, and beautiful empire, directly east from Peru, towards the 
sea, lying under the equinoctial line." Its capital was that great 
golden city which the Spaniards call El Dorado, and the natives 
Manoa, and for greatness, riches, and excellent seat, it far exceed- 
eth any in the world." Such was the fabulous El Dorado : and 
in that age of discoveries, things wonderful and strange had be- 
come so common, that nothing was too extravagant to surpass 
belief. Raleigh had sailed up the Oronoco 400 miles in quest of 
that far-famed city. " On both sides of this river," said he, " we 
passed the most beautiful country that mine eyes ever beheld ; 
plains of twenty miles in length ; the grass short and green ; and 
in divers parts, groves of trees by themselves, as if they had been 
by all the art and labor of the world so made of purpose ; and 
still as we rowed, the deer came down feeding by the water's 
side, as if they had been used to a keeper's call ; * * * The 
river winding into divers branches, the plains adjoining without 
bush or stubble ; * * * the birds towards the evening 
singing on every tree a thousand tunes, the air fresh, with a gen- 
tle easterly wind ; and every stone that we stopped to take up, 
promised either gold or silver by his complexion. I never saw 
a more beautiful country nor more lively prospects."! 

In such terms, Sir Walter Raleigh had described the country 
of Guiana. Such arguments some of the principal men urged, 
to turn the thoughts of the Pilgrims to these sunny and fertile 
plains of the south, rather than to the wintry hills and forests of 
North America. But the wary Pilgrims saw lurking evils under 
these inviting prospects. They thought of the fierce diseases of 
a sultry clime. The English nation had no claim to these re- 
gions. The colonies of Spain were in their neighborhood ; and 

* The providence of God is to be remarked, in bringing the Pilgrims to Holland 
just at the beginning of a truce of twelve years, agreed upon after a war of more 
than thirty years between the United Provinces and Spain. Just when that truce 
was closing, and everywhere was the beating of drums and preparations for war, 
the Pilgrims, having now had time to establish their Church Polity, and to gather 
their friends and resources from England, were led across the ocean, to the destiny 
which God had appointed them to fulfil. 

t In Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims, p. 51. 


Spain was then a powerful and dreaded nation pre-eminent in 
bigotry and fierce intolerance. 

The deliberation ended in favor of the Northern parts of what 
was then called Virginia. Trusty men were sent over to Eng- 
land to see if their enterprise might find favor with the king ; and 
if liberty of conscience might be allowed. 

" To enlarge my dominions," said King James, " is a good 
and honest motion. But whence may profits accrue to your- 
selves and to the crown ?" " From the fisheries at least," replied 
the envoys. " So God have my soul," said the king, with his 
customary profaneness, " 'tis an honest trade. It was the Apos- 
tles' own calling." But King James would give them no further 
answer than to refer them to the Bishops of Canterbury and 
London. The envoys chose rather to rest upon his majesty's 
first indefinite and informal approbation. The Virginia Com- 
pany were desirous to have them go, and willing to grant them 
an ample charter; but no persuasions could wring a consent 
from the king that they might be allowed liberty of religion, 
and have it secured under the great seal. The king allowed 
them to gather from his discour3e, that he would not molest them 
in the exercise of their religion, but he would grant nothing 
further. The more sagacious concluded it best to act upon the 
king's implied promise that he would not molest them ; for, said 
they, if the king should hereafter take it into his head to trouble 
us, it would be no security if \ve had his seal " as broad as the 
barn-floor. He would make pretexts ; he would devise ways 
enough to re-call or reverse it." " We must rest on God's 

" At the very time that this negotiation was pending, the king 
issued his declaration requiring the Bishop of Lancashire to 
constrain all the Puritans within his diocese to conform or leave 
the country."* 

After many delays and discouragements, which tried the 
patience of the Pilgrims, and shook off many uncertain friends, 
a patent was obtained of the Virginia Company ; which, though 
it cost much, was afterwards of no use. Many of the Church at 
Leyden were too poor to defray the expenses of the voyage ; and 
the means of all united were inadequate to obtain ships and 
procure the necessary outfit. They were compelled to form a 
sort of partnership with a company of merchant adventurers for 
a term of seven years; each one having a share according to the 
stock which he was able to contribute ; and the person of each 
emigrant above 16 years to be rated at d10. 

The patent, and the conditions of this agreement, being sent 
over to the people for their consideration, the Church now 

* Prince. 


held a solemn meeting, and observed a day of fasting and prayer. 
Under their trying circumstances, Mr. Robinson preached from 
the text, " And David's men said unto him, see, we be afraid here 
in Judah ; how much more if we come to Keilah against the host 
of the Philistines? Then David asked counsel of the Lord" 
Strengthened and encouraged by their pastor's words, they 
decided to go. It was concluded that part of the church should 
go first ; and that such of the youngest part should go as might 
freely offer themselves. . If the majority should go, the pastor 
was to go with them ; if not, then the elder only. If the Lord 
should frown upon the enterprise, "then those that went [were] 
to return, and the brethren that remained still here to assist and 
be helpful to them ; but if God should be pleased to favor them 
that went, then they also should endeavor to help such as were 
here, poor and ancient, and willing to come.'-* " Those who 
go," says Bradford, "to be an absolute Church by themselves; 
as well as those who should stay ; with this proviso, that as 
any go over and return, they should be reputed as members with- 
out further dismission or testimonial ; and those who tarry, to 
follow the rest as soon as they can." 

Two trusty men were now sent Mr. Cushman, to London, 
and Mr. Carver, to Southampton to make arrangements. 
" Those who were to go first, prepare with all speed ; sell their 
estates ; put their money into the common stock to furnish the 
supplies for the company; they cease from their ordinary busi- 
ness ; they employ themselves with diligence in making the 
preparations for so great a work." When all is nearly ready on 
their part, some on whom they relied in England disappoint 
them. Some would do nothing unless they would go to Vir- 
ginia. Others were dissatisfied that they went not to Guiana. 
Some of the merchants, who had proffered to adventure their 
money, " withdrew and pretended many excuses." " In the 
midst of these difficulties," says Bradford, " they of Leyden were 
drawn to great straits." The season had advanced to June. 
On the 4th, Mr. Robinson wrote to Mr. Carver, complaining of 
the neglect of Mr. Weston, the merchant adventurer, in not get- 
ting shipping as he had engaged. In another week the Leyden 
people were encouraged by the coming of their pilot. Mr. 
Cushman writes that he is getting a ship, and hopes all will be 
ready in fourteen days. The Pilgrims hasten their preparation. 
A small ship of sixty tons (in size like one of our coasting packet 
sloops) is provided in Holland. Another of 180 tons is hired in 
London, and in these the Pilgrim Church with their children, 
and all their supplies, and means of defence for founding a colony 
in a wilderness remote from all human aid, are to cross the 

ocean ! 

* Winslow. 


" So being ready to depart," says Bradford, "they had a day 
of solemn humiliation; their pastor taking his text from Ezra, viii. 
21. ' Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we 
might afflict ourselves before God, to seek of him a right way for 
us, and for our little ones, and for our substance? The rest of 
the time was spent in pouring out prayers to the Lord with great 
fervency, mixed with abundance of tears."* 

Their pastor gave them his farewell advice. " We are now 
ere long," said he, " to part asunder, and the Lord knoweth 
whether we shall ever live to see each other's faces again. * * * 
I charge you before God and his blessed angels, to follow me no 
further than I have followed Christ. If God shall reveal any- 
thing to you by any other instrument, be as ready to receive it 
as ever you were to receive any truth by my ministry. I am 
very confident that the Lord has more truth and light to break 
forth out of his holy Word." " He took occasion," says Win- 
slow, " to bewail the state and condition of the Reformed 
Churches, who were come to a period "in religion, and would go 
no further than the instruments of their Reformation ; * * * 
the Lutherans could not be drawn to go beyond what Luther 
said * * * the Calvinists stick where he left them : a misery 
much to be lamented ; for though these men were precious and 
shining lights in their times, yet God hath not revealed his 
whole will to them ; and were they now living they would be as 
ready to embrace further light as that which they had received." 
He put the Pilgrims in mind of their covenant, " to receive what- 
soever light or truth shall be made known from his written 
Word ; but exhorted us to take heed what we received for truth, 
and well to examine and compare it, and weigh it with other 
Scriptures of truth before we received it. For, saith he, it is 
not possible that the Christian world should come so lately out 
of such thick antichristian darkness, and that full perfection of 
knowledge should break forth at once." " Words," says Prince, 
" almost astonishing in that age of low and universal bigotry 
which then prevailed in the English nation ; wherein this truly 
great and learned man, seems to be the only divine who was 
capable of rising into a noble freedom of thinking and practising 
in religious matters, and even of urging such an equal liberty on 
his own people."f 

* In Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims, p. 87. 

t This has ever been the great principle of Puritanism : that God's Word is the 
sole and sufficient standard of faith and duly. Nearly a century after the landing 
of the Pilgrims, an assembly of Connecticut ministers, in setting forth their general 
assent to the Savoy Confession of Faith, as containing the system of doctrine which 
they embraced, deemed it important to preface that act and confession with these 
words, worthy to be written in broad letters of living light. " We do not assume to 
ourselves that anything is to be taken upon trust from us, but commend to our 
people the following counsels : 1. That you be immoveably and unchangeably 


The advice of the pastor being given, and their clothing and 
effects being packed and in readiness, they turn their thoughts to 
their departure. "And when the ship was ready to carry us 
away," says Winslow (the future governor of the colony, but 
now a young man of 26 years), "the brethren that stayed having 
again solemnly sought the Lord with us and for us, and we fur- 
ther engaging ourselves mutually as before; they that stayed at 
Leyden feasted us that were to go, at our pastor's house, being 
large ; where we refreshed ourselves, after tears, with singing of 
psalms, making joyful melody in our hearts as well as with the 
voice ; there being many of the congregation very expert in mu- 
sic : and indeed it was the sweetest melody that mine ears ever 

" And now," says Bradford, " the time being come that they 
must depart, they were accompanied with the most of their 
brethren out of the city unto a town sundry miles off, called 
DELFT-HAVEN [24 miles south of Leyden], "where the ship 
lay ready to receive them. So they left that goodly and pleasant 
city which had been their resting-place nearly twelve years ; BUT 
THEY KNEW THEY WERE PILGRIMS, and looked not much on 
these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest 
country, and quieted their spirits." * * u When they came to 
the place they found the ship and all things ready; and such of 
their friends as could not come with them followed after them ; 
and sundry came also from Amsterdam to see them shipped, and 
to take their leave of them. That night was spent with little 
sleep by the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian 
discourse." * * " The next day [July 22, 1620], the wind 
being fair, they went on board, and their friends with them ; when 
truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting; to 
see what sighs, and sobs, and prayers, did sound amongst them ; 
what tears did gush from every eye ; and pithy speeches pierced 
each other's heart; that sundry of the Dutch strangers could not 
refrain from tears. Yet comfortable and sweet it was to see such 
lively and true expressions of dear and unfeigned love. But the 
tide which stays for no man, calling them away that were loth to 
depart, their reverend pastor falling down on his knees, and they 
all with him, with watery cheeks commended them with most 
fervent prayer to the Lord for his blessing: and then with mu- 
tual embraces and many tears, they took their leave of one 

agreed in the only sufficient and invariable rule of religion, which is THE HOLY SCRIP- 
TURE, the fixed canon, incapable of addition or diminution. You ought to account 
nothing ancient lhat will not stand by this rule and nothing new that will. 2. That 
you be determined by 1his rule in the whole of religion. That your faith be right 
and divine, the Word of God must be the foundation of it, and the authority of the 
Word the reason of it." 


I avow it ; there is no other scene in the history of man, in 
which mere human beings and uninspired men were the actors, 
on which my eyes would gaze with so much interest could any 
past scene be recalled : " That memorable parting at Delft- Ha- 
ven ! " What men and women, with their children, the hope of 
their future country, were there ! For what principles were they 
exiles from their native land ! What principles, what institu- 
tions are they about to carry into the New World ! It is one of 
the great epochs in the course of time. What changes are to 
come over the face- of the whole world ! what revolutions in the 
principles of human government, and in the prevalent views of 
human rights ! How auspicious that day for the divine light and 
freedom of God's Holy Word, and for the freedom and happi- 
ness of mankind ! Strike from the pages of history the achieve- 
ments of an Alexander or a Caesar, or blot out the very exist- 
ence of empires that have swayed the world for centuries in their 
turn and comparatively little is lost. But blot out of existence 
that band of Pilgrims at Delft-Haven, with the principles for 
which they have suffered, and what they are going to plant in 
the American wilderness, and alas! what desolation, what 
darkness broods over the destinies of man ! 

The youthful Winslow adds some touches which the more 
ancient Bradford saw not fit to add to the picture. The prayer 
being over, " A flood of tears was poured out, but we were not 
able to speak one to another for the abundance of sorrow." * * 
" The ship ready to sail, the wind being fair, we gave them a 
volley of small shot, and three pieces of ordnance ; and so lift- 
ing up our hands to each other, and our hearts for each other to 
the Lord our God, we departed." 

A prosperous wind carries them to Southampton, where thqy 
find " the bigger ship come from London, lying ready with all 
the rest of their company." 

And now all things being prepared, the company is called to- 
gether to hear a letter which Mr. Robinson had sent after them. 
" Then they ordered and distributed their company for either 
ship ; chose a governor and two or three assistants for each ship 
to order the people by the way, and to see to the disposing of 
their provisions, and such like affairs." Which being done, on 
the 5th of August they set sail. 

Unexpected delays had already protracted the time of their 
departure until it was too late for the comfortable beginning of 
a settlement on a wilderness shore. Now further delays awaited 
them. The master of the Speedwell (the smaller vessel) corn- 
plained that his ship was so leaky that he durst not put further 
to sea. Both ships were forced to return ; and on the eighth day 
after leaving port they put into Dartmouth, when the Speedwell 


was searched and repaired. They had not sailed again more 
than a hundred leagues, before Reynold*, the master of the Speed- 
well, complained that his ship was so leaky that he feared that 
he should founder in the sea if he held on. Both ships put back 
and went into Plymouth. The Speedwell was searched again, 
but no great matter appearing, the difficulty was judged to be 
a general weakness of the ship. " The ship afterwards made 
divers profitable and successful voyages," some alteration having 
been made in her masts. The truth was, that the master and 
crew were under contract to stay a year in America ; but fearing 
the want of provisions and other perils of the adventure, " they 
plotted this stratagem," says Bradford, " to free themselves ; as 
was afterwards known, and by some of them confessed." 

" These things falling out, it was resolved by the whole com- 
pany to dismiss the lesser ship and part of the company with her; 
and that the other part of the company should proceed in the 
bigger ship." And now, after another sad parting, on the 6th of 
September, the Speedwell returns to London, and the Mayflower, 
with her precious freight, turns her prow to the ocean. For a 
time the winds are fair, and bear them rapidly forward. Then 
contrary winds meet them : then fierce storms. The upper 
works of the ship are shattered, and leak badly ; one of the main 
beams of the midship is bent and cracked ; and the ship seems 
in peril of being crushed by the waves. The seamen and pas- 
sengers hold a consultation whether to return or hold on. Provi- 
dence has ordered it that one of the passengers has brought with 
him a large screw out of Holland. With that screw they bring 
the beam into its place, where it is secured by the carpenter, and 
the ship appearing strong under water, they hold on their voyage. 
A succession of storms comes upon them. For days together 
the ship is unable to bear a sail ; and is tossed and driven at the 
mercy of the tempests. Two months pass away, and they are 
yet upon the deep. The chill winds of coming winter give them 
sad tokens of what they are to expect upon a bleak and houseless 
shore. At length on the 9th of November, the cry of LAND is 
heard. It proves to be the extremity of Cape Cod ; while their 
destination is in the vicinity of the Hudson. They alter their 
course, and stand to the southward. But they are on an un- 
known coast. The wintry wind, veering, baffling, and stormy, 
beats upon them. Twelve hours more, and they are entangled 
in shoals and breakers. The wind begins to fail them. The 
peril becomes imminent. They hold a consultation what to do, 
and bear up again for the Cape. 

And now, while the ship is standing northward along the 
Cape, the Pilgrims draw up and sign a covenant, by which they 
combine themselves into a " civil body politic," to enact, consti- 
tute and frame such equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions 


and officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet 
and convenient for the general good of the colony ; unto which 
they promised all due submission and obedience." It was the 
first social compact in the world, entered into by freemen pre- 
serving the liberties of each, and guaranteeing to all equal privi- 
leges and rights. It was the germ of the first true republic on 
earth. The great idea, so novel, so startling to the world, so 
directly opposed to the divine right of kings and prelates, under 
whose sway the world had so long groaned in bondage ; the 
great idea of such a republic, as founded in the nature and 
inalienable rights of man, the Pilgrims derived from the Gospel 
scheme of a Christian Church. A congregational Church was 
the original and model of American Republicanism ; and for this 
stupendous discovery, which is now so simple that we wonder 
it could ever have been overlooked, we are wholly indebted to 
the diligent search which the Puritans made into the great prin- 
ciples of the rights of conscience, and into the true scriptural 
model of a Christian Church. That memorable transaction, in 
the cabin of the Mayflower, arose from no sudden effort of 
genius, and from no amazing reach of political sagacity ; it was 
only the practical and natural carrying out of principles which 
had long been canvassed, and which had become in the minds 
of the Pilgrims settled and undoubted truths. It was the form 
of government which it was well understood they should adopt,, 
before they sailed from Holland. For eighteen years they had 
tried the experiment in their republican Church ; and so well 
were they satisfied, that they could never resort to any other con- 
stitution of government. These things Mr. Robinson alludes to 
as understood and settled, in the letter which he sent after them 
to Southampton. He speaks of their " design to become a body 
politic using civil government;" and exhorts them to orderly 
submission to such government from the consideration that it is 
God's ordinance, and that they " are to have only them for their 
governors, which they themselves should make choice of" Nor 
did the Pilgrims at first contemplate forming a written compact ; 
they seemed to take it for granted, that joining the community 
under such circumstances, imposed, on every one so joining, a 
sufficient bond ; and that God had naturally given to everjgcom- 
munity so circumstanced, authority to institute government, 
which, whenever duly established, should be one of the " Powers 
ordained of God ;" and not dependent on the consent of every 
individual to bind him to its laws. The occasion for making 
the compact, was that " they observe some who were not well 
affected to unity and concord, but who gave some appearance 
of faction." It was thought good, therefore, that there should be 
an association and agreement. 

The compact being signed, the Mayflower was now winding 


her way around the extremity of Cape Cod ; and on the llth of 
November, she cast her anchor in what is now Provincetown, or 
Cape Cod harbor. 

" Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of trouble," 
says one who then stood upon the deck of the Mayflower, "be- 
fore their preparation unto further proceedings, as to seek a place 
of habitation, &c., they fell down upon their knees and blessed 
the Lord, the God of Heaven, who had brought them over the 
vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all perils and 
miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable 
earth." The same day, some fifteen or sixteen men, well armed, 
were sent with others to fetch wood, for the Pilgrims had none 
left, and to see to what sort of land they had come. They returned 
at night, having discovered no person or habitation ; but with 
" their boat loaded with juniper, which smelled very sweet and 
strong, and which they burnt most of the time they lay there." 

The next day was the Sabbath, and all remained quietly on 

On Monday, the 13th of November, they unshipped their shal- 
lop to mend and repair her ; having been forced to cut her down 
in stowing her betwixt decks ; and " she having become much 
opened with the people's lying in her." Seventeen days were 
passed away while the carpenter was completing this indispen- 
sable work. In the mean time the people by turns went on 
shore to refresh themselves, " and the women to wash, as they 
had great need." The ship had not been able to come nearer 
than three-fourths of a mile to the shore; and the shallows com- 
pelled the people " to wade a bow-shot or two in going to land," 
" which caused many to get colds and coughs, for many times it 
was freezing cold weather." 

In the meantime sixteen men, every one with his musket, 
sword, and corslet, under the conduct of Capt. Miles Standish, 
set out to explore the country. On the 27th of November, their 
shallop and long-boat being repaired, another party of thirty men 
in the shallop and long-boat proceed along the cape to a greater 
distance. Stormy weather drives them on shore. They march 
over hill? and through valleys and deserts, making various dis- 
coveries and enduring great hardships ; but everywhere ihe soil 
is barren, and the shore too shelving for a convenient harbor. 

On the 6th of December, the third exploring party set oft' from 
the ship, it " being very cold and bad weather," and several being 
very near perishing with fatigue and cold, ere they could get 
clear of a sandy point which lay within a furlong from the ship. 
The water " froze on their coats, and made them," says their 
journal, "like coats of iron." After various adventures, passing 
through storms of snow, and over rough seas, and being nearly 
lost on breakers, they are driven into a " fair sound," where they 


" get under the lee of a small rise of land ; but are divided 
about going ashore, lest they should ^fall into the midst of sava- 
ges. Some, therefore, keep the boatj but others being so wet, 
cold and feeble, that they cannot bear it, but venture ashore with 
great difficulty, kindle a fire, and after midnight, the wind shift- 
ing to the north-west, and freezing hard, the rest are glad to get 
to^them, and here stay the night." It was a small island in 
Plymouth bay, to which Providence had now directed their 
course. In the morning they explore it and find no inhabitants. 
The next day is the Sabbath ; and though their business is 
so pressing, and their friends awaiting their return with anxie- 
ty, and though winter is already upon them, yet there they KEEP 
THE SABBATH. The next day they explore the harbor and march 
into the land. They find vacant corn-fields, little running brooks, 
a good harbor, and a place good for situation. They returned 
to the ship. On the loth of December, the ship weighs anchor, 
to proceed to the place of settlement ; but stormy weather makes 
them glad to return once more to the shelter of the cape. On 
the 16th, they come safe into the harbor. This again is Satur- 
day, and the next day being the Sabbath, they remain on board 
and keep it holy unto the Lord. On Monday, a trusty party 
land for further exploration. They march along the coast, but 
see not an Indian nor a habitation. At night, they return weary 
to the ship. On the 19th, they go ashore and determine to fix 
upon one of two places. In the morning of DEC. 20TH, they go 
ashore, and conclude "by most voices, to set in the main-land 
on a high ground, where there is a great deal of land cleared and 
hath been planted with corn, three or four years ago, and there is 
a very sweet brook runs under the hill-side, and many delicate 
springs of as good water as can be drunk, and where we may 
harbor our shallop exceeding well." The next day it was 
stormy, and those on board could not go ashore ; those that re- 
mained on land all night, " could do nothing, but were wet, not 
having daylight sufficient to make them a court of guard to 
keep them dry." " All that night it blew and rained extremely. 
It was so tempestuous that the shallop could not go on land so 
soon as was meet, for they had no victuals on land. About 11 
o'clock, the shallop went off with much ado, with provision, but 
could not return. Friday, Dec. 22d, the storm continued so that 
those on board could not get to land. On the 23d, so many as 
could, went on shore and felled timber for building. On Thurs- 
day the 28th, they went to work on a hill to form a platform for 
the cannon on a site commanding all the plain and bay; and be- 
gan to measure out the ground, and to arrange the families. It 
was the 20th of Jan., before they made up their shed for their 
common goods: and on the 21st of Jan., 1621, they kept their 
first Sabbath on land. 



Apparent designs of Providence. Contrast between Popery in South 
America and Protestantism in the North. The fruits of Puritanism in 
New England. Sufferings of the Pilgrims. The first harvest. The first 
Thanksgiving. New settlers. Famine. Day of Fasting. Return of 

LET us now go back to the 10th day of November, A. D. 1620, 
when the Mayflower, hardly escaping from the shoals and breakers 
in her attempted passage to the Hudson, turns her course, and bears 
up once more for the northern extremity of the cape. An eloquent 
orator has thus drawn the picture.* " Let us go up in imagina- 
tion to yonder hill, and look out upon the November scene. 
That single dark speck just discernible through the perspective 
glass on the waste of water, is the fated vessel. The storm moans 
through her tattered canvass, as she creeps, almost sinking, to her 
anchorage in Provincetown harbor; and there she lies with all 
her treasures, not of silver and gold (for of these she had none), 
but of courage, of patience, of zeal, of high spiritual daring. So 
often as I dwell in imagination on this scene ; when I consider 
the condition of the Mayflower, utterly incapable as she was of 
living through another gale ; when I survey the terrible front pre- 
sented by our coast to the navigator, who, unacquainted with its 
channels and roadsteads, should approach it in the stormy season, 
I dare not call it a piece of good fortune that the general north 
and south wall of the shore of New England should be broken 
by this extraordinary projection of a cape, running out into the 
ocean a hundred miles, as if on purpose to receive and encircle 
the precious vessel. As I now see her freighted with the desti- 
nies of a continent, barely escaped from the perils of the deep, 
approaching the shore precisely where the broad sweep of this 
most remarkable headland presents almost the only point, where, 
for hundreds of miles, she could with any ease have made a har- 
bor, and this, perhaps, the very best on the seaboard, I feel my 
spirit raised above the sphere of mere natural agencies. I see the 

* Hon. Edward Everett, at the Cape Cod Centennial Celebration, 1839. 


mountains of New England rising from their rocky thrones. 
They rush forward into the ocean, settling down as they advance ; 
and there they range themselves, a mighty bulwark around the 
heaven-directed vessel. Yes, the everlasting God himself stretches 
out the arm of his mercy and his power, in substantial manifes- 
tation, and gathers the meek company of his worshippers as in 
the hollow of his hand." 

Their course was indeed heaven-directed. Had they gone to 
the vicinity of the Hudson, they must have been involved in dif- 
ficulties with the settlers owing allegiance to another nation, or 
perhaps have been reduced under their power. 

These were the men, of all time, the best fitted by peculiar dis- 
cipline for just the work which the Providence of God led them 
to accomplish. They had been taught the great principles of 
evangelical truth and of religious freedom, by just such conflicts 
as are necessary to separate the truth from old systems of abuse 
and error. By long continued sufferings, they had learned to 
prize these principles as dearer than their pleasant homes in 
England, and dearer even than life. For the truth, for freedom, 
for their posterity, for God, they had come with their wives and 
little ones to a wilderness. Far from all human aid, with all 
their resources in themselves and God, they had come to plant 
themselves on the borders of that interminable forest, whose only 
sounds were the deep moaning of the winds through the branches 
that cast their unbroken shadows over a continent; save as at 
times the howlings of wild beasts, and the yells of savage men 
gave to this awful loneliness a variety of terror. After a long 
night of a thousand years brooding over the whole world, the 
Lord had effectually brought to light once more the fundamental 
principles of his Holy Word. When lordly prelates joined with 
the civil power to impose ceremonials and forms unfriendly to the 
truth and inconsistent with purity of worship, then the Lord led 
his people to make further discoveries of the principles of religious 
freedom. He suffered those in spiritual lordships to harden their 
hearts, till by grievous persecutions they had driven the subjects 
of their tyranny to a clear discernment of the corruptions and 
usurpations, wrought into the very frame-work of the Church 
organizations and civil institutions of the old world. As there 
was no place on the Eastern continent where these great princi- 
ples might develope themselves, and show their beauty, and ma- 
ture their fruits, the Lord brought this people, so prepared, into 
a new world. He- guided them to an accessible haven. He 
brought them into a void space, from which his Providence had 
just swept off the original inhabitants by a desolating pestilence; 
thus furnishing fields already prepared, and removing all ene- 
mies from their immediate borders. By bringing the adventur- 


ers into a rough land of rocks and hills, requiring toil and fru- 
gality, and securing vigor and sagacity to its cultivators, the Lord 
provided for the future sending off of hardy and well trained 
colonists, to the wide plains and the fertile banks of the magnifi- 
cent rivers of the west ; of adventurers to trade in every mart of 
commerce throughout the land ; and of mariners to spread their 
sails on every sea, and to visit every portion of the globe. Thus 
was provision made for spreading the principles of the Pilgrims 
throughout the land, and for extending their influence over the 
world. Can any one fail to recognize in all this the finger of 
God ? Here is indeed no pillar of cloud or of fire. Yet in all 
these events, connected with their great results, the Providence of 
God declares itself as if in broad and legible lines ; calling upon 
us to recognize His hand ; and encouraging the hope if we for- 
sake not the God of our fathers that He has yet greater designs 
to accomplish, and yet more signal mercies to bestow upon man- 
kind, as the ultimate result of that series of providences, which 
planted the Pilgrims in this American land. 

O what emotions often fill my soul, when, on the very soil on 
which the early fathers of New England trod, arid looking abroad 
over the hills and waters on which they once looked, and while 
walking amid their graves, I think of the hand of God so clearly 
revealed ; and on his great designs in bringing such a race of men 
to people the shores of this great continent! What other people 
on earth can point to such an ancestry as the people of New 
England? Who else are under such obligations to truth, to 
freedom, and to God ? I avow it my soul pities those who for 
light reasons, and for the most part without examination, have 
thrown the principles of such fathers away ; and who, on the 
principles to which they are now schooled to submit, must count 
those fathers fanatics, misguided, ignorant, and turbulent men, 
rushing into a sinful schism from unworthy motives, and for an 
unworthy cause ! I envy not those who must now blot out 
these fair lines of God's good providence ; who must regard the 
reasons which led the Pilgrims to brave the ocean and the wil- 
derness, as unwarrantable ; their landing on the rock of Ply- 
mouth an ill-omened event ; and who can behold nothing in all 
the fruits of their labors, save the results of an unhappy and 
wicked revolt from the rich blessings and lawful rule of a right- 
eous ecclesiastical dominion ! Sure I am, that those Pilgrims 
were well informed and godly men. Sure I am, that they 
examined these principles with a patience and research to which 
the present age is well nigh a stranger. Were Robinson and 
his compeers alive ; were Cotton, and Shepard, and Elliot, and 
multitudes of the first ministers of New England now alive, and 
in our midst, there are no ministers of religion in this country 


or in the world, who, for learning, eloquence, character, or 
anything that adorns humanity could pretend to be their 
superiors. The results of their labors are manifest to all the 
world. The prelatic system, the antagonist to theiis, has con- 
tinued to reign in the old world, as it had already reigned for a 
thousand years. The Puritan principles came with a small band 
of outcasts into a desolate wilderness. Only two centuries are 
elapsed ; but take the history of those two hundred years, and 
tell me : Which of these two systems has most signalized itself 
by results of freedom and intelligence ? Which has done most 
for the advancement of right principles ? Which has done most 
to exalt and bless the people who have embraced it ? Nay, take 
the map of the whole world ; open the history of all time, and 
lay your finger on the spot of earth exhibiting the greatest com- 
parative amount of comfort, of enterprise, of piety, and of every 
thing that conduces to the exaltation or happiness of man. Can 
you hesitate ? Who is there that will no.t instantly point to the 
rocks and hills of New England ; whose whole surface was, two 
hundred years ago, one unbroken forest? Under every earthly 
disadvantage, with incredible toil, in the midst of appalling dan- 
gers, obstructed by the jealousy of the mother country, and at 
last compelled to encounter her in arms, in two centuries the 
people, rich in nothing save the principles of the Pilgrims, have 
turned this wilderness into a fruitful field ; and made it the 
moral garden of the whole world. An intelligent Englishman,* 
famed for his researches in science, a member of the established 
Church, and one who by his extensive travels and personal 
inspection is qualified to form an intelligent judgment, on his 
return from a recent tour in this country, spoke earnestly of 
New England, as the spot " where two millions of freemen are 
enjoying a higher degree of intelligence, morality, and substantial 
comfort and prosperity, than any other equal number of people 
on the face of the earth." To what is this owing ? To fairer 
beginnings? To exemption from dangers and burdens? To 
more fertile fields, and fairer skies ? Alas, no ! Never was 
prosperity achieved under greater hardships. The sunny plains 
which Sir Walter Raleigh described as a second Paradise, were 
given to the disciples of the Pope. The regions of eternal spring 
and summer were given as a field for other principles to show their 
power. As if to render the contrast more striking, there were 
added mines of gold and silver enough to enrich a world. What 
are those fields now ? God stripped the Pilgrims of everythin 
save their principles an,d their life ; he sent them in the depth o 
winter into a bleak and desolate land. He surrounded them 

* Lyell. 



with dangers. At every breath they were made to tremble for 
their freedom to worship God ; and lo, what hath been wrought ? 
To the principles of the Pilgrims, under God, New England 
owes all she is. 

The Pilgrims could not foresee these splendid results of their 
labors. What thoughts came rushing upon their minds as they 
crowded the deck, and gazed upon the shores of the New World ! 
Weary and worn, many of them enfeebled by sickness a howl- 
ing wilderness is before them, and the rough ocean behind. 
" For the season," says Bradford, " it was winter ; and they that 
know the winters of that country, know them to be sharp and 
violent, and subject to violent storms, dangerous to travel to 
known places, much more to search out unknown coasts." * * 
" All things stand for them to look upon with a weather-beaten 
face ; and the whole country being full of thickets presented a 
wild and savage hue." The captain of the ship urged them to 
seek out a place for settlement with the shallop; for he durst not 
stir with the ship from its first position in Cape Cod harbor, till 
another safe harbor should be found. Again and again the ex- 
plorers went forth, and returned without success, after nearly per- 
ishing in their open shallop, from storms and cold. The captain 
reminded them that " victuals consumed apace ; and that he must 
and would keep sufficient for himself and company on their re- 
turn." It was rumored by the ship's company, that if the Pil- 
grims got not a place in time, they would turn them ashore and 
leave them. But at length the good hand of the Lord directed them 
to Plymouth, and after many trials and hardships they were at 
last, with their effects, on the shore. 

A dreary winter is before them. Three had died in Cape Cod 
harbor. Mrs. Bradford, the wife of the future governor, had fallen 
overboard and was drowned. Two more died before the landing 
at Plymouth. Eight died in the month of January ; seventeen 
more in the month of February ; thirteen in the month of March. 
In three months half their company were dead : " the greatest 
part," says Bradford, " in the depth of winter ; wanting houses 
and other comforts, being infected with the scurvy and other dis- 
eases which their long voyage and unaccorrimodate condition 
brought upon them." " Of a hundred, scarce fifty remain ; the 
living scarce able to bury the dead." " In the time of the great- 
est distress, in the depth of winter, and in want of all resources, 
there were not more than six or seven who were able to tend the 
sick." But as the spring opened the mortality abated ; the sick 
recovered ; and hope and courage once more returned to the suf- 
fering Pilgrims. 

Oa the fifth of April, the Mayflower sailed for England ; and 
it is remarkable that after the experience of so dreadful a winter, 


not one of the surviving Pilgrims took the opportunity to return 
to his native land.* 

In December of the first year, Edward Winslow wrote to a 
friend in England, that they had built seven dwelling-houses, 
and four for the public use of the plantation ; and had several 
others in a state of forwardness! they had planted twenty 
acres of Indian corn, and sowed six acres of barley and peas. 
And now, harvest being gathered, they kept the first New Eng- 
land Thanksgiving, thus commencing a custom which the sons 
and daughters of New England, unless they shall prove sadly 
degenerate, will continue to observe till the end of time. 

The cold weather had brought into the harbor an abundance 
of water-fowl. Deer and wild turkeys were found near the 
settlement. The governor sent four men with their guns to pro- 
cure the materials for a feast, that they " might after a special 
manner rejoice, after they had gathered the fruit of their labors." 
" They four, in one day, killed as much fowl, as with a little 
help beside, served the company almost a week." 

It was on the 9th of November, A. D. 1621, that the friendly 
Indians of Cape Cod sent the colonists word that a ship had ar- 
rived there : and by the description it was concluded that this 
vessel must be a Frenchman, and probably come on a hostile 
errand. Not long after, the people of Plymouth looking out from 
their hill, see the strange sight of a sail making for their harbor. 
Supposing her an enemy, the Governor, says Winslow, " com- 
manded a great piece to be shot off, to call home such as 
were at work. Whereupon, every man, yea, boy that could 
handle a gun, were ready, with full resolution, that if she were 
an enemy, we would stand in our just defence, not fearing 

It proves to be the good ship " Fortune,"- small indeed, of 
only fifty-five tons but bringing over thirty-five new settlers ; a 
part of whom were the persons left by the Speedwell. She had 
sailed in the beginning of July, and it was now the llth of No- 
vember when she came into the harbor of Plymouth. 

On the 13th of December the Fortune sails, laden with two 
hogsheads of beaver and other articles which the colonists had 
collected ; together with "good clap-boards, and sassafras, as full 
as she can hold ;" the fruit of the industry of the colonists in 
their first season. The whole was estimated at 500 ; but as 
the ship drew near to the English coast she was taken by the 
French, and all was lost. 

By this ship, Winslow wrote to his friends who might be 
about to come over, to use great caution in packing their pro- 

* Six more died before the end of November. Most of the survivors were suffered 
to live to extreme old age. 



visions, and not to rely upon supplies from the colony, as the 
new company already arrived would create a scarcity before the 
-next harvest. " Bring every man a musket or a fowling-piece," 
said he. " Let your piece be long in the barrel, and fear not the 
weight of it, for most of our shooting is from stands." " Bring 
paper and linseed oil for your windows, and cotton for your 

Before the end of May, 1622, their store of provision was 
spent ; and they had for some time lived on short allowance. 
The last company had not landed so much as a barrel of bread 
or meal ; and the ship had to be furnished from the stores of the 
colony for her voyage home. A ship also arrived at the fishing- 
grounds some hundred and twenty miles distant, and sent seve- 
ral colonists more. These also brought no more provisions than 
were necessary for their boats' crew on their return. 

The colonists were now destitute of bread. The Indians be- 
gan to cast forth insulting speeches, reminding them of their 
weakness and threatening their destruction. The colonists 
erect a fort on the hill, from which a few men may defend the 
town, while the rest are employed in necessary affairs. And 
though this took the greatest part of their strength from dressing 
corn, " yet," said they, " life being continued, we hoped 
God would raise some means instead for our further preserva- 
tion." It was now June ; harvest was yet at a distance. The 
people were weakened, and some bloated and swelled for want 
of suitable provisions. " Strong men," said Winslow, " stag- 
gered for want of food." A party was dispatched to the fishing- 
grounds, who obtained some small supplies from the ships resort- 
ing thither. In July, two ships with colonists for Virginia came 
in. Part of these emigrants were left, while the others were on 
an exploring expedition ; and these committed such depredations 
on the green corn of the colony, as prepared the way for a scarcity 
in the coming year. In August two trading ships came, from 
which they obtained some supplies. With great hazard and toil 
some further supplies were obtained from the Indians at a dis- 
tance. These supplies saved the colony. 

The spring opened fairly in the next year, and the colonists 
made such efforts as they supposed would secure them from 
want. But Providence seemed to frown. From the end of 
May a severe drought continued till all their crops seemed 
withered and burnt up. In addition to this, a ship sent to them 
with supplies, of which they had had notice several months, 
failed to arrive. Fragments of a wreck were discovered on the 
coast, which they concluded to be the remains of their expected 

Then every man began to look into his own conscience before 


God. A day was set apart for fasting and prayer. The morn- 
ing of that day was clear and sultry, like many which had 
preceded it. The exercises of the fast continued eight or nine 
hours ; and ere the people separated the sky was overcast. 
From that evening there distilled a succession of gentle showers 
for fourteen days. Their crops revived. They became cheer- 
ful with hope. News came of their supply-ship, which having 
been twice driven back was now prosperously on her way. 
" And therefore," says Winslow, " another solemn day was set 
apart, wherein we returned glory and honor and praise, with 
all thankfulness to God, who had dealt so graciously with us." 

In the latter part of August their expected supply-ship, the Ann, 
arrives; bringing, together with supplies, about sixty new colonists. 
Among these are some of the wives and children whom several 
of the first adventurers had left behind them in Holland. 

" When these passengers see our poor condition," says Brad- 
ford, " they are much dismayed, and full of sadness : only our 
old friends rejoice to see us, and that it is no worse." " The 
best dish we could present them with, is a lobster or piece of 
fish, without bread, or anything else but a cup of fair spring 

A few days after came in the ship, the " Little James," of forty- 
four tons, new-built, and designed to remain in the country. 

On the 10th of September, 1623, the pinnace is fitted and 
ready to sail for trade. The Ann sails for London laden with 
what clap-boards, and beaver and other furs, the colonists have 
procured. " And now," says Bradford, " our harvest comes. 
Instead of famine we have plenty. The face of things is changed 
to the joy of our hearts ; nor has there been any general want of 
food among us since to this day." 

Thus, through the good providence of God, the colony is 
established. Amid perils and distresses the foundations are laid. 
We must now return to England, and trace the further progress 
of the persecutions, which resulted in driving off the people who 
laid the foundations of the other early colonies and churches of 
New England. 




Vacillating and Irritating Policy of James. Sycophantic bearing of the 
Bishops. Passive Obedience and Non-Resistance. Attempts of James 
to establish Episcopacy in Scotland. Assembly of Perth. Change in 
the King's Theology. Original Calvinism of the English Church. Lam- 
beth Articles. Book of Sports. Perfidy of James. 

THE wrongs of the Puritans at length aroused the sympathies of 
the nation. Their principles and arguments had awakened the 
people to some just perception of their rights ; and from this 
time the spirit of freedom in the House of Commons had become 
too daring to be overawed, and too strong to be crushed. It 
is questionable whether even the resolute Henry VIIL, or the 
imperious Elizabeth, could have checked the rising spirit of 
liberty. Elizabeth, however, always had sagacity to discern 
when it was necessary to yield, and the good policy to yield in 
such time, that instead of allowing her subjects to learn their 
strength by driving her from her positions, she always made her 
concessions appear to be the fruit of her goodness. In this man- 
ner her very concessions increased her popularity and augmented 
her real power. Her people were not disposed to inquire con- 
cerning their rights, while they were rather inclined to seek how 
they should show their gratitude, and exhibit further their confi- 
dence in so beneficent a sovereign. Thus Elizabeth continued 
an absolute despot, and yet a most popular sovereign to her life's 

James never knew when to yield, or how to do it with grace. 
He was self-conceited and obstinate enough, but he had neither 
courage, vigor, magnanimity, nor any true sagacity. Without 
necessity, he was for ever fond of declaring on all occasions his 
own divine and indefeasible prerogatives as an absolute king. 
The assertion of these prerogatives without occasion, induced 
people to examine their nature and foundation ; and the perpetual 
efforts of James to break down his people's liberties, without 
doing anything effectual, not only taught his people their power, 
but goaded them up to desperation. This craving desire to play 


the despot, these high notions of the regal prerogatives, without 
courage or energy to meet the resistance which these irritating 
claims and these petty acts of tyranny awakened, drove James 
into a perpetual course of dissimulation. " His reign," says 
Burnet, " was a constant course of mean practices." And while 
steering amid these breakers, and dodging, turning, twisting 
and lying, to effect his purposes, and to escape from difficulties 
which an upright and magnanimous prince would never have 
encountered, his perceptions of moral obligation were so dis- 
torted, that he prided himself on these acts of dishonesty and false- 
hood, as though he had now become a proficient in the art and 
mystery of " Kingcraft ;" as though no truth, nor honesty, nor 
honor were requisite in one who sits upon a throne ! 

The bishops were ever ready to maintain his royal preroga- 
tives in their fullest extent. On all occasions they approached 
him with flatteries; and no flattery ever seemed fulsome to King 
James. Passive obedience and Non-Resistance^ was their con- 
stant doctrine ; and the king in return was ever ready to lend 
himself to the furtherance of their views. The Puritans dared to 
talk of rights, and therefore the king hated them. He thought 
them weak, and therefore he ventured to oppress them. 

James had penetration enough to discern the inevitable ten- 
dencies of the antagonist principles of High Churchism and Puri- 
tanism. The friends of freedom saw it too; and from this 
moment the principles which had been antagonists in religion, 
began to form the elementary basis of two great political parties. 
The bishops, the king, the admirers of arbitrary authority, and 
the despisers of popular rights, were ranged on one side ; on the 
other side the friends of popular freedom, of every name, and 
however differing in religious preferences, rallied round the 
Puritans. Here were planted the germs of those commotions 
which in a few years overturned the throne ; and as the Hier- 
archy, under the name of The Church, joined their destinies to. 
the destinies of arbitrary power, when the king fell, the hierarchy 
fell with him. This is an outline of the affairs which are now 
to' come under review. 

When James summoned his first Parliament in 1604, he took 
it upon himself to direct his people what sort of representatives 
they should elect ; and threatened, that if any other sort were 
elected, and should take upon themselves the office, he would 
fine or imprison them. " He threatened to fine and disfranchise 
those corporations that did not choose to his mind."* When the 
Commons assembled, he interfered with their examination of 
elections. He required a conference between the House and his 
judges, which, he said, he " commanded as an absolute king."f 
* Hume. t Ibid. 



" He added, that all their privileges were derived from his grant, 
and he hoped they would not turn them against him." The 
Commons yielded; but with murmurings of " Rights" "not 
privileges ;" RIGHTS left them by their ancestors, and which they 
were bound to transmit to their posterity : not privileges depen- 
dent on the grant and tolerance of an absolute king. 

In ancient times, the Parliament had granted the crown duties 
of tonnage and poundage on various commodities, and for limit- 
ed times ; arid as the grant expired from time to time, it had been 
by act of Parliament renewed. Henry V., and the sovereigns 
succeeding him, had had these revenues conferred upon them for 
life. King James, however, thought them the natural dues of 
his prerogative ; and by virtue of the same, took it upon him to 
alter the rates, and to establish higher impositions. The Parlia- 
ment saw the mischief of the principle ; the same reasons, they 
declared, might extend " even to the utter ruin of the ancient 
liberty of the kingdom, and the subjects' right of property in 
their land and goods." The king forbade them to touch his 
prerogative. : but they passed a bill abolishing these impositions, 
which bill was, however, rejected by the House of Lords. 

The Commons now took hold of ecclesiastical oppressions. 
Bold speeches were made concerning the proceedings of the 
bishops' courts ; the oppressive subscriptions required ; the oath 
ex officio ; and the High Commission. The king summoned 
both Houses to Whitehall, and told them that " the power of 
kings was like the Divine power ; that as God can create and 
destroy, so kings can give life and death ; judge all, and be 
judged by none ;" * * " that as it was blasphemy to dispute 
what God might do, so it was sedition in subjects to dispute 
what a king might do." * * "He commanded them, there- 
fore, not to meddle with the main points in his government, 
which would be to lessen his craft, who had been thirty years at 
his trade in Scotland, and served an apprenticeship of seven 
years in England."* 

The Parliament, nothing terrified, went on asserting their 
rights. On the 24th of May, 1610, twenty-three of the lower 
house presented a remonstrance, declaring that " They do hold it 
their undoubted right to examine into the grievances of the sub- 
ject, and to inquire into their own rights and properties, as well 
as his majesty's prerogative." Thus was an issue made between 
the Parliament and king, which was not to be determined till the 
nation was whelmed in blood. 

In foreign affairs James was always timid and inefficient. An 
opportunity to exhibit himself as a royal theologian, however, 
was enough to rouse his utmost energies. " A professor of divin- 

* Neale. 


ity, named Vorstius, a disciple of Arminius, had been called to 
the university of Leyden. James having read a work of Vorstius, 
declared the writer to be an arch-heretic, a pest, a monster of 
blasphemies ; and ordered the book to be burnt publicly in St. 
Paul's churchyard and at both universities. He wrote to the 
States of Holland thus : As God hath honored us with the title 
of Defender of the Faith^ so (if you incline to retain Vorstius any 
longer) we shall be obliged not only to separate and cut ourselves 
off from such false and heretical Churches, but likewise to call 
upon all the rest of the reformed Churches to enter upon the same 
common consultation, how we may best extinguish and send 
back to hell these cursed " [viz. Arminiari] " heresies that have 
newly broke forth."* " As to burning Vorstius for his blasphe- 
mies and atheism, he left them to their own. Christian wisdom, 
but told them that surely never heretic better deserved the 
flames."! The States of Holland were not in the practice of 
burning men for heresy ; though such was- the weight and perse- 
verance of the King's diplomacy, that he gained the royal victory 
of causing Vorstius to be deprived of his chair, and to be banish- 
ed from the Dutch dominions. In the course of that diplomacy 
James denounced Arminius as an enemy of God ; and another 
who had written against the Saints' perseverance, the king de- 
clared " worthy of the fire." We shall remember this when we 
come to his league with Arminianism and Popery, for putting 
down the Puritans. James published his manifesto of what he 
had done in the affair of Vorstius, in several languages. 

In the same year the king tried again his theological powers 
in conjunction with some of his bishops, in a disputation with 
two of his own subjects, who had embraced Arian sentiments : 
the issue was that one of his opponents was by the king's writ 
taken to Smith field and burnt to ashes. 

In the midst of all this zeal for religious truth, while the Puri- 
tans were imprisoned, pursued, hunted, plundered, and hindered 
in their efforts to leave the kingdom ; and while the king was 
exercising his functions as Defender of the Faith in Holland, and 
burning heretics in his own dominions,* the court was a scene 
of indolence, luxury, amours, lasciviousness and debauchery. 
The king lavished his fortunes upon worthless favorites, and was 
obliged to have recourse to arbitrary and illegal methods of rais- 
ing money by his prerogatives. He invented a new order of 
knights baronets, and sold the honor for 1000 a patent. He 
obliged such as were worth 40 a year to compound for not 
taking the honors of knighthood. He sold patents of nobility at 
10,000 for a baron, 15,000 for a viscount, 20,000 for an earl, 
The business of fining in the Star Chamber was driven forward 

* Neale. t Hume. 



with vigor. But all these expedients came short of his necessi- 
ties, and he was forced again to call a Parliament. The Parlia- 
ment met in April, 1614, and immediately entered upon a con- 
sideration and redress of grievances. The king in anger dissolved 
them before they had passed one act, arid threw the members 
who had been most forward against his measures into prison. 
" Full of his prerogative," says Neale, " he apprehended he could 
convince his subjects of it ; and for this purpose turned preacher 
in the Star Chamber ; and took his text from Ps. 72, 1 : 4 Give 
the king thy judgments, O God.' After dividing and subdi- 
viding, and giving the literal and mystical sense of the text, he 
applied it to the judges and courts of judicature; telling them 
that ' The king sitting in the throne of God, all judgments centre 
in him : and therefore, for inferior courts to determine difficult 
questions without consulting him, is to encroach upon his prero- 
gative, and to limit his power ; which it is not lawful for the 
tongue of a lawyer nor any subject to dispute. As it is atheism 
and blasphemy to dispute what God can do (says he), so it is 
presumption and high contempt to dispute what kings can do or 
say : it is to take away that mystical reverence that belongs to 
them who sit in the throne of God : ' then addressing the audi- 
tory, he advised them not to meddle with the king's prerogative. 
4 Plead not upon Puritanic principles, which make all things 
popular/ said he, l but keep within the ancient limits.' He then 
turned his speech against the non-conformists, both Puritans and 
Papists ; and concluded with exhorting the judges to counte- 
nance the clergy against them both; adding, ' God and the king 
will reward your zeal.'" 

It was now A. D. 1617, just about the time that the Pilgrims 
in Holland were beginning to agitate the question of removing 
to America, when King James set himself about the work of 
establishing Episcopacy in Scotland. Ever since the Reforma- 
tion, the Scotsmen had looked with more than suspicion upon 
anything that resembled an order of Bishops. At the instance 
of King James, they had been engaged to admit them as per- 
petual presidents or moderators in their ecclesiastical synods, 
but with an explicit disavowal of all spiritual jurisdiction, and of 
their holding any power over other ministers. James intended 
this as the beginning of a gradual introduction of Episcopacy. 
His next step was to introduce the ceremonies of the Church of 
England, with the festivals of Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, 
and Ascension. An assembly had been summoned at Aber- 
deen. The king, to forward his own purposes, prorogued it to 
the following year. " Some of the clergy, disavowing his eccle- 
siastical supremacy, met at the time first appointed, notwith- 
standing his prohibition. He threw them into prison. Such of 


them as submitted and acknowledged their error, were pardoned. 
The rest were condemned as guilty of high treason. The king 
gave them their lives, but banished them from the kingdom."* 

The king now, on the sole strength of his prerogative, ven- 
tured to set up a Court of High Commission in Scotland, in 
imitation of that of England. The bishops and a few of the 
clergy who had been summoned, acknowledged the authority 
of this court, and it proceeded immediately to business, as if its 
authority had been grounded on the full consent of the whole 

James now made a royal progress into Scotland for accom- 
plishing his design. Pictures and statues of the Twelve Apostles 
were carried up and set in the chapel of Edinburgh. The king 
told the Scots' assembly and the parliament, " That it was a 
power innate ; a princely special prerogative which Christian 
kings have, to order and dispose external things in the outward 
polity of the Church ; or as " we [the king] with our bishops shall 
think fit." " And, sirs," said he, " for your approval or disap- 
proval, deceive not yourselves ; I will not have my reason op- 
posed."J Some ministers protecting against these things, were 
suspended, deprived, and banished. 

The next year, A. D. 1618, an assembly (or rather convention), 
consisting of some noblemen and burgesses, " chosen on purpose 
to bear down the ministers " of the Gospel, met at Perth ; and 
passed several articles establishing sundry of the ceremonials and 
festivals of the Church of England. The king caused them to be 
proclaimed in the market-place, and ordered them to be published 
from the pulpits. The Scottish ministers refused. In 1621, an 
attempt was made to ratify in Parliament, the articles of the As- 
sembly of Perth. The Scottish ministers were ready with their 
protestation, and poured into Edinburgh in great numbers to sup- 
port it. The king's commissioners, by advice of the bishops, is- 
sued a proclamation commanding all ministers to depart out of 
Edinburgh in twenty-four hours, except the settled ministers of 
the city, and such as have a license from the bishop. The minis- 
ters obeyed, leaving behind them a solemn protestation against 
the articles of Perth, and affirming the illegality of the assembly 
by which they were passed. The Scots' blood was up, and King 
James durst proceed no further. He left the work of completing 
his design of imposing episcopacy upon the Scots, to his un- 
happy son ; who, in attempting to carry out the plan, set the 
kingdom in aflame, which was not quenched till he had lost both 
kingdom and life. 

The English Parliament was now roused by the king's entrench- 
ment upon their liberties, as well as by several other things ap- 
*Hume. tlbid. t Neale. 


parent in his general policy, such as his supineness in neglecting 
to defend his son-in-law the Elector Palatine : and his evident 
willingness to betray the Protestant cause and to entail a Popish 
sovereign on England, in his concessions to promote the mar- 
riage of his son Charles with a princess of Spain. The Com- 
mons began to frame a remonstrance to be laid before the king. 
The king wrote to the Speaker a sharp rebuke, forbidding the 
Commons to meddle with anything that regarded his govern- 
ment ; and gave them intimations that a prison awaited such as 
should venture to disobey his commands. " He plainly told them 
that he thought himself fully entitled to punish every misdemeanor 
in Parliament, as well during its sitting as after its dissolution ; 
and that he intended thenceforward to chastise every man whose 
insolent behavior should give occasion of offence."* 

The Commons were inflamed, not terrified. They drew up 
a new remonstrance, asserting their rights, and sent a committee 
of twelve to carry it to the king. The king heard of their approach, 
and ordered twelve chairs to be brought, " for there were so 
many kings a coming." He told them that what they called 
rights^ they had rather, by royal toleration, than by inheritance ; 
that they were derived and held from " the grace and permission" 
of the king's ancestors and of himself. 

The Commons voted, " That the liberties, franchises, privileges, 
and jurisdictions of parliament, are the ancient and undoubted 
birthright and inheritance of the subjects of England"^ The 
king sent for the Journals of the House of Commons. With his 
own hand he tore this protestation from the book, and dissolved 
the Parliament. The leading members of the House, Sir 
Edward Coke, and Sir Robert Phillips, were committed to the 
tower ; Selden, Prynne, and Mallory, to other prisons. Others 
were ordered abroad on the king's business, into an honorable 
banishment ; the king claiming the prerogative of employing in 
his affairs any man, at any time, and anywhere. 

We begin here to see the spirit, and to meet with the names 
of men, who, in the next reign, jeoparded their lives in defence 
of the national liberties. 

We come now to the remarkable change which came over the 
king's theology : a change which so largely influenced his policy 
and the affairs of the nation. 

Calvin had been held in the highest repute by all the Reform- 
ers of England. By appointment of the Convocation, Calvin's 
Institutes were made the text-book of theology in the Universi- 
ties of Cambridge and Oxford. Not only are the Articles of 
the English Church thoroughly Calvinistic, but the celebrated 
Lambeth Articles drawn up A. D. 1595, by Archbishop Whit- 

* Hume. t Ibid. 


gift, and carrying the dogmas concerning predestination to an 
extreme beyond Calvin, were strictly enjoined upon students, 
who were forbidden to allow their judgments to vary from the 
doctrine of these Articles. The occasion of these Articles was 
as follows : A Mr. Barret had ventured to assail Calvin's doctrine 
concerning Predestination and Perseverance. He was summon- 
ed before the Chancellor, and heads of the University, and 
obliged to retract in St. Mary's Church. Nor did this satisfy the 
heads of the University ; but they demanded that the names of 
Peter Martyr, Calvin, Beza and Zanchius, which this man had 
reproached, should receive some further honorable amende. 
Both parties appealed to the Archbishop, and the result was the 
establishment of the celebrated Lambeth Articles, as the authori- 
tative exposition of the sense of the Church of England upon 
these points. The following are the Articles :* 

1. " God hath from eternity predestinated certain persons to 
life, and hath reprobated certain persons unto death." 

2. " The moving or efficient cause of predestination unto life 
is not the foresight of faith or perseverance, or of good works, or 
of anything that is in the persons predestinated ; but the alone 
will of God's good pleasure." 

3. " The predestinati are a pre-determined and certain number 
which can neither be lessened nor increased." 

4. " Such as are not predestinated to salvation shall inevitably 
be condemned on account of their sins." 

5. " The true, lively, and justifying faith, and the Spirit of God 
justifying, is not extinguished, doth not utterly fail, doth not 
vanish away in the elect, either finally or totally." 

6. " A true believer, that is, one who is endowed with justify- 
ing faith, is certified by the full assurance of faith that his sins 
are forgiven, and that he shall be everlastingly saved by Christ." 

7. " Saving grace is not allowed, is not imparted, is not granted 
to all men, by which they may be saved if they will." 

8. " No man is able to come to Christ, unless it be given him ; 
and unless the Father draw him ; and all men are not drawn by 
the Father, that they may come to his Son." 

9. " It is not in the will or power of every man to be saved." 
It is now well understood that the body of the Episcopal 

clergy, both in England and the United States, hold the Armi- 
nian sentiments on these points ; while, nevertheless, this author- 
itative and ultra- Calvinistic interpretation of the sense of the 
Church in the 17th of her Articles, has never, so far as I can 
learn, been either reversed or annulled. Nor, if the Church 
should reverse this authoritative interpretation, am I at all able 
to understand how she is authorized to interpret her Articles both 

* Buck's Theological Dictionary. 


ways. The sentiments of those who framed these Articles were 
thoroughly Calvinistic. The present prevalent belief of the 
Episcopal Church on these points is rather a sorry comment 
upon the boasted efficacy of her " Standards."* 

King James had 'loaded the name not only of Vorstius but 
of Arminius himself with the bitterest epithets he could invent. 
When, upon the fierce disputes against Arminianism in Holland, 
the Synod of Dort was called in 1618, King James, full of zeal 
against the Arminian doctrines, sent as his delegates to that 
synod, Dr. Carleton, Bishop of Landaff, Dr. Hall, Dean of Wor- 
cester, afterwards the celebrated Bishop of Norwich, and Dr. 
Davenant, afterwards Bishop of Salisbury. The English divines 
concurred in the severe condemnation of Arminianism by the 
Synod of Dort. Bishop Hall, some years afterwards, said, I, 
shall live and die in the suffrage of that Synod of Dort ; and I 
do confidently avow that those other opinions" [of Arminians] 
" cannot stand with the doctrine of the Church of England." 
Bishop Davenant replied in these words : " I know that no man 
can embrace Arminianism, * * * but he must desert the 
Articles agreed upon by the Church of England." 

Whether such were the natural affinities of the two schemes, 
of theology or not, such was the fact which James was notback- 
ward to discover ; that those who scrupled the ceremonies and 
habits of the Church, were uniformly attached to the Calvinistic 
doctrine ; while the Arminians in sentiment were not only dis- 
posed to receive the ceremonies, but to favor the prerogatives 
claimed both by the Church and the king. This was induce- 
ment enough for James to change his theology. He advanced 
the most zealous Arminians to bishoprics; among whom was the 
famous LAUD. Whoever stood by the laws and the constitution 
in opposition to his arbitrary power, was in James' view a Puri- 
tan in state. Every Calvinist was, in his esteem, a doctrinal Pu- 
ritan. From this time " the fashionable doctrines at court were 
such as the king had condemned at the Synod of Dort, and 
which, in the opinion of the old English clergy, were subversive 
of the Reformation." 

Still another element now began to mingle in the prevailing 
theology. The tenets, which are now known by the name of 
Oxford Tractarianism or Puseyism, had now begun to prevail ; 
as has already been shown in our view of the great work of the 
" JudiciousHooker." Hooker lived nearer the old Reformers, and, 
therefore, the Popery in his scheme was very unnaturally and 
discordantly mingled with Calvinism : a compound which was 

* The sarcastic saying of the great Lord Chatham was not without foundation : 
" We have," said he, " Calvinistic Articles, a Popish Liturgy, and an Arminian 


sure not to endure very long : and in spite of some popish ele- 
ments, there are traits and passages in Hooker's theology upon 
which Evangelical Christians of all denominations still look with 
admiration. But now, under the change of King James' theolo- 
gical politics, the prevalent doctrine in the Church of England, 
was fast becoming that compound of Arminianism and Popery, 
now known as Puseyism. 

The divines of this stamp, conscious that their Arminian sen- 
timents were inconsistent with the received sense of the 39 
Articles, " and being afraid of the censures of Parliament, took 
shelter under the Royal Prerogative ; and went into all the slav- 
ish measures of the court, in order to secure the royal favor." 
The Papists, hoping nothing from Parliament, joined with the 
court divines to support the dispensing power, and unlimited 
prerogatives of the king. The king lavished his favors upon 
Arminians and Papists, who upheld his prerogatives ; and 
bestowed his frowns upon the Puritans, both nonconformist, 
doctrinal, and political, who all united in the maintenance of 
popular rights against the assumptions of the crown. 

The lines of party were now distinctly drawn. " All," says 
Neale, "who opposed the king's arbitrary measures, were called 
at court Puritans ; and those who stood by the crown in oppo- 
sition to the Parliament, went by the names of Papists and 

By the king's command the judges were directed to discharge 
all prisoners for Church recusancy, or for dispersing popish books, 
or for saying Mass. Upon this, great numbers of priests flocked 
into England ; " Mass was celebrated openly over the realm."* 
This allowance was not on the principle of toleration, but as a 
matter of policy* for strengthening the royal prerogatives ; and 
for building up a party against the Puritanic principles. Thus 
Popery and Prelacy were made to combine their energies ; and 
the Puritans were persecuted with augmented vigor. " The 
Puritans," says Neale, " retired to the plantations in America, 
and Popery came in like an armed man." 

A preacher (Mr. Knight), in a sermon before the University 
of Oxford, ventured to assert the right of the people to resist the 
sovereign when it should be the only way of securing their lives, 
their property, or the rights of conscience. He was arraigned as 
a criminal. Parseus' Commentary, which he quoted as authority, 
was publicly burned at Oxford and at London. The University 
of Oxford, in full convocation, passed a decree that it was not 
lawful for a subject to appear offensively in arms against the 
kin on the score of religion, or on any other account. All 
graduates of the University were required to subscribe that 

* Neale. 


decree ; and to take an oath that they would ever continue of 
the same opinion. Thus it was attempted to bind all men of 
learning in the nation, under the solemnities of an oath, always 
to maintain the doctrine of passive obedience and non-resistance. 

The king bethought himself of another device to check the 
growth of Puritanism ; and that was by putting down the ob- 
servance of the Lord's day as a Holy Sabbath. " The old Puri- 
tans," says Neale, " were strict observers of the Christian 
Sabbath, or Lord's day ; spending the whole of it in acts of 
public and private devotion and charity." * * "It was the 
distinguishing mark of a Puritan in these times, to see him going 
to church twice a day, with his Bible under his arm ; and while 
others were at plays or interludes, at revels, or walking in the 
fields, or at the diversions of bowling, fencing, &c., * on 

the evening of the Sabbath, these with their families were em- 
ployed in reading the Scriptures, singing psalms, catechising 
the children," &c. As early as the reign of Queen Elizabeth, a 
Dr. Bound had published a book maintaining the obligation to 
keep the Lord's day as a Sabbath. " This book had a wonder- 
ful spread, and wrought a mighty reformation among the people ; 
so that the Lord's day, which used to be profaned by interludes, 
May games, morrice dances, and other sports and recreations," 
began to be religiously observed. The Puritans all embraced 
this doctrine. " But the governing clergy exclaimed against it 
as a restraint of Christian liberty ; as putting an unequal lustre 
upon Sunday, and tending to eclipse the authority of the 
Church in appointing other festivals."* A Mr. Rogers, author 
of a Commentary on the 39 Articles, writes in his Preface, 
" That it was the comfort of his soul, and would be to his dying 
day, that he had been the man and the means, that the Sabba- 
tarian errors were brought to the light and knowledge of the 
state."! " Archbishop Whitgift called in all copies of Dr. 
Bound's book, and forbade it to be re-printed. The Lord Chief 
Justice Popham did the same ; both of them declaring that the 
Sabbath doctrine agreed neither with our Church, nor with the 
laws and orders of this kingdom.":): Heylin complains that the 
Puritans, by raising the Sabbath, took occasion to depress the 
festivals ; and introduced by little and little a general neglect of 
the weekly fasts, the holy time of Lent, and the ember days. 
" Sad indeed !" exclaimed Neale. 

To save people from the infection of Puritanism, but under 
color of preserving people from running into Popery through the 
austerity of the reformed religion, James, on the 24th of May, 
1618, published his BOOK OF SPORTS, in which he signified, 
" That for his good people's recreation, his majesty's pleasure was 
* Neale. t Ibid. JIbid. Ibid. 


that they should not be disturbed, letted, or discouraged from 
any such harmless recreations ; such as dancing, either of men 
or women ; archery for men, leaping or vaulting, or any such 
harmless recreations ; nor having of May poles, or other sports 
therewith, so as the same may be had in due and convenient 
time, without impediment or let of divine service." * * * 
Only " no recusant [Papist] was to have the benefit of this 
declaration ; nor such as were not present at the whole divine 
service ; nor such as did not keep their own parish churches ; 
i. e. the Puritans."* Though this was aimed at the Puritans, it 
grieved all sober Protestants throughout the land. Archbishop 
Abbot absolutely forbade it to be read in the church where he 
was. The principles of Divine truth had taken too deep a hold 
upon the conscience of the nation to be rooted out by the 
mandate of an absolute king. The nation was now alarmed 
lest the faithless king should prepare the way for bringing them 
once more under the dominion of Popery. The Elector Pala- 
tine, who had married Elizabeth, the daughter of James from 
whom the present race of English sovereigns is descended was 
driven from his dominions, and had to take refuge in Holland. 
The whole Protestant world murmured at James' supineness, both 
as a father and a Protestant. The Commons were at the same 
time indignant at this, and alarmed at the engagements into 
which they suspected James to be at that time entering with the 
king of Spain for the marriage of his son Charles wilh the Span- 
ish Infanta. James had indeed entered into a treaty, in which 
he had promised either to annul all laws against Popery, or to 
prevent their execution. He had provided for the admission of 
popish priests and a popish bishop with the Infanta ; for the 
erection of a popish chapel with all the paraphernalia of popish 
worship. He had further entered into engagements, to which 
Charles his son had sworn, which in the natural course of things 
would in due time place a line of popish sovereigns upon the 
throne. Notwithstanding these engagements, which were then 
secret, James had assured the Parliament " on the word of a 
Christian king," that the Spanish match was- " res integra" an 
affair entirely open and unfinished, in which he stood " not 
bound nor either way engaged, but remained free to follow what 
should be best advised." " It has been talked of my remissness," 
said he, "and a suspicion of a toleration" [of Popery] " but as 
God shall judge me, I never thought or meant, nor ever in word 
expressed anything that savored of it." To the remonstrance of 
Parliament, James answered, " I wish it may be written in mar- 
ble, and remain to posterity as a mark upon me when I shall 
swerve from my religion ; for he that dissembles before God is 

* Neale. 


not to be trusted with men ; I protest before God that my heart 
hath bled when I have heard of the increase of Popery. * * 
.1 will order the laws to be put in execution against popish re- 
cusants, as they were before these treaties; for the laws are still 
in being, and were never dispensed with by me ; God is 
my judge that they never were so intended by me." The 
king did break off the Spanish match; but he forthwith en- 
tered into a treaty, with similar stipulations in favor of Popery, 
for the marriage of Charles with Henrietta Maria, sister of Louis 
XIII. of France. " Upon this occasion, the Archbishop of Am- 
brun was sent into England, who told the king that the best way 
to accomplish his wishes was to grant a full toleration to the 
Catholics. The king replied, that he intended it ; and was will- 
ing to have an assembly of divines to compromise the difference 
between Protestants and Papists : and promised to send a letter 
to the pope to bring him into the project. In this letter, the king 
styled the pope, " Christ's Vicar, and Head of the Church uni- 
versal ; and assured him that he would declare himself a Catho- 
lic as soon as he could provide against the inconveniences of 
such a declaration."* The treaty was made. Ambrun was 
permitted to administer confirmation to thousands of Catholics 
at the door of the French Ambassador's house. 

In the midst of these transactions, on the 27th of March, 1625, 
James was summoned away by death. These things were 
transpiring during the years in which the colony at Plymouth 
was struggling for life. From the midst of these scenes the new 
accessions to that colony fled from their native land to the wilder- 
ness of New England. The germs of the events in the next 
reign were now planted. A conflict was at hand ; it could not 
but come ; a conflict between the principles of Church Polity as 
laid down by the " Judicious Hooker ;" united with a theology 
half Popish and half Arminian on the one side ; and the doctrine 
and principles of Puritanism on the other; a conflict of the 
Reformation with essential Popery; of the principles of freedom 
with the principles of despotism. 

* Neale. 



Reaching for a union of Churchmen and Papists. Charles his High- 
Church and High-Prerogative notions. Strafford. Laud. Huguenots 
of Rochelle. Book of the King's Chaplain. King and Commons appeal 
to the people. Illegal exactions. The Church Clergy side with tyran- 
ny. Overthrow of the Constitution. Cruelties of Laud. 

THE reformers and the Homilies of the Church of England had 
declared concerning the Church of Rome, that for " nine hun- 
dred and odd years, * * the state thereof" was " so far wide 
from the nature of the true Church, that nothing can be more"* 
The religion of Rome, the Homilies declared to be the " ungodly 
and counterfeit religion ;f and the Roman Church to be " The 
idolatrous Church; * * a foul, filthy old withered harlot; the 
foulest and filthiest that ever was seen"\ The new theologians, 
among whom Laud was most conspicuous, were now fond of 
acknowledging the Church of Rome, not simply as a true 
Church, a beloved sister, but as a MOTHER ! The English reform- 
ers had treated the reformed Churches on the continent as true 
Churches ; had held friendly correspondence with them, and had 
received their ministers as authorized and ordained ministers of 
the Church of Christ. Laud and his compeers handed over all 
out of the English or the Papal Church, to the uncovenanted 
mercies of God. " Laud," says Neale, " thought there was no 
salvation for Protestants out of the Church of England." His 
aim, and the aim of those of like sentiments, was now to make 
it appear, that there was, in the essentials of faith, no difference 
between the Church of England and that of Rome ; and to seek 
for a union of Churchmen and Papists. Could the true Pro- 
testants in the nation submit to this ? Could the friends of free- 
dom tamely endure the yoke of despotism that was sought to be 
fastened on their necks ? The contest of principle had already 
begun. The weak and foolish attempts of James to play the 
despot had roused the yeomanry of the nation to a spirit of 
resistance, against which such attempts could be safe no longer. 
* 2. Homily for Whitsunday. 1 3. Homily on Good Works. t Ibid. 


At this juncture of affairs, Charles I. came to the throne on the 
27th of March, 1625, a little more than four years after the land- 
ing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. 

In his own family Charles I. was a most amiable man. He 
was possessed of ordinary good sense ; of more learning than 
is usual in a prince ; he was a writer of no mean style or capacity 
for the day. Formal and stately in his manners, he was not, 
perhaps, more so than suited the notions of princely dignity at 
the time. His temper seems to have been mild and beneficent. 
Had he lived a century earlier, before the people had begun to 
understand their rights, or a century later, when they had taught 
their kings to respect them, Charles I. would probably have been 
as much beloved as any sovereign that ever sat on the English 
throne. Few of those sovereigns have maintained so good a 
private character, or have been blessed with so beneficent a dis- 
position. " But the high idea of his own authority which he im- 
bibed," says Hume, " made him incapable of giving way to the 
spirit of liberty which began to prevail among his subjects." 
These high notions of the regal prerogatives, Charles had learned 
from his father. James had commended to him the great work 
of " The Judicious Hooker," " as worthy of his study, even next 
unto the Bible ;" and henceforth the support of High Church 
principles and regal prerogatives, was with Charles not only a 
matter of divine right, but of conscientious duty. When these 
despotic principles were about to lead him to the scaffold, Charles 
in his turn enjoined it upon his sons, Charles II., and James II., 
to " study the great work of the Judicious Hooker, even next 
unto the Bible." They did so, and followed it out to its natural 
results of despotism and popery, till Charles II. died a papist, 
and James II., from a staunch Churchman of the Puseyistic 
stamp, became a bigoted papist, and from the "Judicious 
Hooker" his native tyranny received that conscience and boldness, 
which ended in driving this last of the Stuarts from the throne.* 

* James himself declares that reading Heylin and "The Preface to Hooker's 
Ecclesiastical Polity," " confirmed him in the opinion " " that those who changed 
the English religion were not of God." On the principles of English prelacy, as 
laid down by Hooker, he could not see why the Church of England should separate 
from Rome. " Submission" says James II, "is necessary to the peace of the Church; 
and when every man will expound the Scriptures, this makes way to all sects who pretend to 
build upon it " (one might think that on this point the Bishop of Connecticut had 
been to school to King James II.; for this is his precise objection in his recent 
charge). " It is plain," continues James II., "that the Church of England does not 
pretend to infallibility ; yet she acted as if she did ; for ever since the Reformation 
she has persecuted those who differed from her, dissenters as well as papists, more 
generally than was known. And he could not see why dissenters might not sepa- 
rate from the Church of England, as well as she had done from the Church of 
Rome. (Bishop Burnet, Hist of his own Life and Times.) Bishop Burnet says he 
had this account of James IL's change of religion from James himself. " All due 
care was taken," James says, " to form him to a strict adherence to the Church of 
England ; among other things much was said of the AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH, 


The chief advisers and instruments in all the encroachments 
of Charles I. upon the liberties of his people, were THOMAS 
to the supreme management of ecclesiastical affairs upon the se- 
questration of Archbishop Abbot, in 1627 ; and upon the death 
of that prelate, became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633. 

Thomas Wentworth had signalized himself by his efforts 
against the royal prerogatives. Charles understood his character, 
and bought him up with office and a patent of nobility. From 
this time, fidelity to his master was his controlling principle. He 
regarded no rights, no constitutions, but bent all his energies to 
the support and enlargement of the royal prerogatives. 

The character of LAUD appears to have been a combination 
of superstition, bigotry, intolerance, and ambition. Hume draws 
its outlines in the following words : " With unceasing industry, 
he studied to exalt the priestly and prelatical character. His zeal 
was unrelenting * * * in imposing by rigorous meas- 

ures his own tenets and pious ceremonies on the obstinate Puri- 
tans who had profanely dared to oppose him. In prosecution 
of his holy purposes, he overlooked every human consideration, 

* * * all his enemies were imagined by him the declared 
enemies of loyalty and true piety ; and every exercise of his an- 
ger, by that means, became in his eyes a merit and a virtue. 
This was the man who had acquired so great an ascendant over 
Charles ; and who led him by the facility of his temper, into a 
conduct which proved fatal to himself, and to his kingdom." 

There might still have remained some bulwark in the laws ; 
but the Lord Chief Justice Finch was fond of declaring " that 
a requisition of the Council or Star-Chamber should always be 
good enough law for him." The judges held their offices at the 
pleasure of the crown : and it was the practice of Laud to send 
for their opinions beforehand; and both he and the Star-Cham- 
ber used often to remind the judges, that if they should not do 
his majesty's business to his satisfaction, a removal from office 

and of the TRADITIONS from the Apostles IN SUPPORT OF EPISCOPACY; so that 
when he came to observe that there was more reason to submit to the Catholic Church than 
to any one particular Church, and that OTHER TRADITIONS might be taken on her word, 
AS WELT, AS EPISCOPACY was received among us, he thought the step was not great, 
but that it was very reasonable to go over to Rome ; and Dr. Seward having taught him 
to believe a REAL but inconceivable PRESENCE OF Christ in the sacrament, he thought 
this went more than halfway to TRANSUBSTANTIATION." Here we have the process 
natural as life, and entirely logical. Can we wonder that the Puseyites are going 
over to Rome ? Is there any logical ground short of that, on which High Church- 
men can rest? To suppose that the incipient principles of this scheme will stop 
at any given limit short of essential Popery, is as contradictory to reason as it is to 
all the lessons of past history. There is a natural and inevitable logic, by which 
the masses will, in process of time, push out first principles to their legitimate 
conclusions It is impossible that High Church Episcopacy, or Puseyism, should 
finally rest anywhere short of essential Popery. 


was the least they had to apprehend. Whatever soundness 
there might be in the decisions of the courts on other subjects, 
there was none in any matter of question between the royal pre- 
rogatives, the edicts of the Star-Chamber, and the rights and 
liberties of the people. 

The first parliament of Charles " was almost entirely govern- 
ed," says Hume, "by a set of men of the most uncommon ca- 
pacity, and the largest views." Among them, were Sir Edward 
Coke, Digges, Elliot, Wentworth (afterwards created Earl of 
Strafford), Selden and Pym; names afterwards so conspicuous 
in the final strusffle for freedom. 


These men had stood against the encroachments of James. 
They saw with alarm the dangerous assumptions of the crown : 
and they determined to seize upon the first occasion, when the 
king should need supplies, to reduce his enormous prerogatives. 

The nation had grown into a horror of Popery ; yet the Roman 
titular Bishop of Chalcedon appeared in his pontifical robes in 
Lancashire, and appointed a bishop, vicar general, and archdea- 
cons all over England. The king made fair promises, directly 
opposed to his marriage treaty with France ; issued his procla- 
mation against popish recusants ; and then immediately arrested, 
by his special warrants, the course of the laws against Popery. 

The government of France was now engaged in a series of 
massacres for exterminating the Huguenots from the kingdom. 
The Huguenots had gathered and stood for their lives in the town 
of Rochelle. The Catholics were besieging the town, but being 
destitute of shipping to block up the harbor, the French min- 
ister, Cardinal Richelieu, applied to Charles for the loan of some 
ships. The pretext to the seamen was, that they were to be em- 
ployed against the Genoese, who, being allies of Spain, were re- 
garded with dislike by France and England both. The fleet ar- 
rived on the coast of France, when the sailors learned that they 
were to fight against their Protestant brethren, the Huguenots of 
Rochelle ! The sailors were enraged. They drew up a remon- 
strance to their commander, signing all their names in a circle 
that none might be singled out as ringleaders, and declared that 
they would sooner be thrown overboard, or be hanged at the top 
of the masts, than fight against their Protestant brethren. This 
remonstrance they laid under the admiral's prayer-book. It was 
in vain that the admiral and the French officers endeavored to 
move the seamen from their determination. The whole squadron 
sailed for the Downs. Deception was now added to authority; 
and the usual terrors employed to overawe the mutineers. The 
seamen were assured that France had made peace with the Hu- 
guenots ; and were persuaded to sail once more. King Charles 
sent his warrant to the admiral:." We command you," said he, 


" to consign your own ship immediately into the hands of the 
French admiral, with all her equipage, artillery, &c., and require 
the other seven to put themselves into the service of our dear 
brother, the French king ; and in case of backwardness or refusal, 
we command you to use all forcible means, even to their sinking." 
Arrived once more at Dieppe, the sailors discovered the deception. 
Sir Ferdinando Gorges, who commanded one of the vessels, 
broke through and returned to England. All the officers and 
sailors of the other ships deserted. " One gunner alone," says 
Hume, " preferred duty to his king to the cause of religion ; and 
he was afterward killed in charging a cannon before Rochelle." 
The French manned the ships with sailors of their own religion ; 
blocked up the harbor ; destroyed the little fleet of the Rochellers ; 
cut off their communication with their Protestant friends by sea ; 
reduced them to a dreadful famine ; took the last bulwark of the 
Protestant interest in France ; and overwhelmed its inhabitants 
in butchery and blood. Great was the indignation of the Protes- 
tant people of England ; and long and bitterly was this transac- 
tion remembered against their king. 

One of the king's chaplains (Mr. Montague) published a book 
in which, as well as in other writings of his, he maintained " that 
the Church of Rome is, and ever was, a true Church ; and had 
ever remained firm upon the same foundation of sacraments and 
doctrines instituted by God ; that the doctrinal faith of Rome and 
of England is the same ; that images are lawful for the instruc- 
tion of the ignorant, and for exciting devotion ; that saints are to 
be invoked in prayer, as having patronage and custody and power 
over certain persons and countries." 

The Commons cited the author to their bar; a proceeding not 
uncommon in those days, however strange it appears now, when 
men are held answerable for their deeds, not to the legislature, 
but to the courts ; and are liable to be deprived of their property 
or freedom, not by the mere votes of a legislature, but only after 
trial and sentence according to law.* 

The Commons having cited Montague to their bar, LAUD 
defended his doctrines, and asserted the prerogatives of the 
ecclesiastical courts. The king expressed his displeasure with 
the Commons, and dissolved the Parliament. 

As this was before Parliament had voted any supplies, Charles 
endeavored to supply his want by compulsory loans. But this 
did not relieve his necessities, while it greatly increased the rising 
discontent of the people. Forced to call another Parliament, he 

* This arbitrary manner of proceeding seems to have been not uncommon, at 
least down to the time when the Colonial Assembly of Massachusetts voted that 
James Franklin (brother of Benjamin Franklin) "should no longer print the news- 
paper called the New England Courant." Franklin's Life. 


named the popular leaders of the last Parliament as sheriffs of 
counties, in order to disqualify them for holding seats in the Par- 
liament. The people saw this policy; and Parliament, when 
they met, entered upon a redress of grievances with increased 
resolution. They impeached the king's favorite minister, the 
Duke of Buckingham. The king sent, them his commands not 
to meddle with his servant Buckingham ; but to finish in a few 
days the bill for his supplies, and to increase the amount, or 
they must not expect to sit any longer. If they should fail in 
this, he threatened to try other counsels. 

The Commons proceeded in their own course. By the king's 
command, two leading members, Sir Dudley Digges and Sir 
John Elliott, were thrown into prison. The Commons refused 
to proceed to any other business till this breach of their privileges 
should be redressed. The king yielded ; but the effect of all this 
was greatly to exasperate the Parliament, and to expose to the na- 
tion, the tyranny, indiscretion and irresolute character of the king. 

The Commons now entered upon the favor shown to Popery. 
They complained that the laws were dishonored, the king's 
promises violated, popish doctrines honored and defended, and 
Papists exalted to stations of honor and authority around the 
king. Charles made known his determination to cut all this 
short by a dissolution of Parliament. The peers interceded ; 
reminded him that the unfinished business, and the state of the 
nation, demanded that Parliament should sit a little longer. 
" Not a moment longer," cried the king, and dissolved the Par- 

The Commons foreseeing this, had taken care to finish and 
disperse their remonstrance, in justification of their conduct to 
the pedple. The king likewise published his declaration, giving 
the reasons of his dissolving the Parliament before they had had 
time to conclude any one act. Thus were the king and Parlia- 
ment at issue on the great questions of popular rights, in an 
appeal to the great inquest of the nation, THE SOVEREIGN PEOPLE. 
Little did Charles dream of the virtual admission contained in 
that appeal. Little did he understand its tendencies, or antici- 
pate its results. The people were now called upon to investigate 
for themselves the great question of rights ; and to judge 
between the Parliament and the king! Who should carry into 
execution the award of the sovereign people ? It could not be 
done as with us, peaceably at the ballot-box : unless one party 
should voluntarily yield, it must await the decision of the sword. 

The king now tried his threatened " New Counsels " for replen- 
ishing his exchequer. He established a commission for com- 
pounding with the Papists for a dispensation of the laws against 
them. He demanded aid of the nobility. He demanded 


d100,000 of the city of London ; and the good city of London 
gave him a flat refusal. He required the maritime towns and 
adjacent counties to furnish, equip, and arm, each, an appointed 
number of ships. This was the first appearance of ship money in 
the reign of Charles. Little did he foresee the troubles that were 
to rise from this exaction. He laid taxes on his people and re- 
quired the money under the name of loans. Whoever failed to 
make the contribution at which he was assessed, was taken from 
his house, carried to a distance and thrown into prison. Among 
other articles of secret instruction, direction was given to the 
commissioners appointed to levy these loans, says Hume, " Thai 
if any shall refuse to lend, and shall make delays and excuses, 
and shall persist in his obstinacy ; they should examine him 
upon oath, whether he has been dealt with to deny or refuse to 
lend, or to make an excuse for not lending; who has dealt with 
him, and what speeches or persuasions were used to that pur- 
pose ; and they also shall charge any such person, in his majesty's 
name, upon his allegiance, not to disclose to any one what his 
answer was. So violent an inquisitorial power, so impracticable 
attempt at secresy," continues Hume, " were the objects of in- 
dignation, and even, in some degree, of ridicule." 

To support this law, the Church clergy were employed to 
preach up the doctrine of passive obedience and Non-Resistance. 
One Sibthorpe preached at the Lent assizes at Northampton, 
" That if princes commanded anything which subjects might not 
perform, because it is against the laws of God, or of nature, or 
impossible ; yet subjects are bound to undergo the punishment 
without resistance or railing or reviling ; and so to yield a passive 
obedience where they could not yield an active one." Dr. Man- 
waring preached, that " the Royal will and pleasure of the king, 
in imposing taxes without consent of parliament, doth oblige 
the subject's conscience on pain of damnation ;. and that those 
who refuse obedience, transgress the laws of God, insult the 
king's supreme authority, and are guilty of impiety, disloyalty 
and rebellion ; that in cases of emergency all property belongs 
to the king; and of that emergency the king alone is the sole 
and irresponsible judge.* These were the doctrines of the court, 
and of the high churchmen. Manwaring's sermon was printed 
by special command of the king. Sibthorpe dedicated his ser- 
mon to the king, and carried it to the old Archbishop Abbot to 
be licensed for the press. " Abbot's principles of liberty," says 
Hume, " had acquired him the character of a Puritan. For it is 
remarkable that this party made the privileges of the nation as 
much a part of their religion, as the Church party did the pre- 
rogatives of the crown." Abbot refused to grant such doctrines 

* Hume. 


the seal of his license. The sermon was carried to Laud, then 
Bishop of London, who not only licensed it, but recommended 
it as " a sermon learnedly and discreetly preached, agreeable to 
the ancient doctrine of the established Church, * * and 

to the established doctrine of the Church of England." For his 
refusal, Archbishop Abbot was " suspended from the exercise 
of his office, banished from London, and confined to one of his 
country seats." His jurisdiction was, by commission, put into 
the hands of five bishops, of which the chief was the aspiring 

The people imprisoned for refusing the forced loan, had in 
general submitted in hopeless silence. But now there were five 
men, among whom was Hampden, who ventured to demand re- 
lease, not as a favor of the crown, but as due by the laws of their 
country. This was a bold and novel proceeding. " Though 
rebellious subjects had frequently," says Hume, " in the open 
field resisted the king's authority ; no person had been found so 
bold, while confined, and at mercy, to set himself in opposition 
to regal power, and to claim the protection of the Constitution 
against the will of the sovereign." These men demanded their 
release. " No crime, no cause is assigned as the reason of our 
commitment," said they. " We are imprisoned only by the spe- 
cial command of the king and council; and by law, this is not 
sufficient reason for refusing bail or releasement." 

The judges remanded them to prison, and refused the offer- 
ed bail. The discussion of the question of law, and of the rights 
of the subject, spread light, and excited inquiry among the peo- 
ple. Deep were the murmurings that spoke the popular discon- 
tent. Is it so ? said the people. May the king demand our pro- 
perty at his pleasure ; the divines proclaim eternal wrath upon 
our refusal; and the judges condemn us to spend the present 
life in perpetual imprisonment? Then what is our freedom? 
How does our condition differ from that of slaves ? 

The king pursued the " other measures " which he had threat- 
ened. He quartered his soldiers upon private families; and 
whoever had paid the loan reluctantly and with delay, was sure 
to have his house filled with these compulsory and lawless guests. 
People of low condition, who refused, were pressed into the 
army or navy. Men of a higher class were sent abroad on the 
king's business, to the ruin of their own affairs. The soldiers 
quartered upon the people, were left unpaid ; and, after being 
tempted or driven to a course of plunder and outrage, were sub- 
jected to the rigors of martial law. 

Laud and his creatures stood censors of the press. Books 
against Arminianism were mutilated or forbidden : books in its 
favor were licensed and commended. If any wrote in defence 


of the liberties of the people, they were questioned in the Star- 
Chamber, or fined by the High Commission. Apologies for 
Popery, and books and tracts inculcating popish tenets or rituals, 
were licensed ; if any ventured to write on the other side, the 
queen was a Catholic ; and she must not be insulted by any- 
thing disrespectful to her religion. 

The king's wants compelled him at length to call another 
parliament. They came " men deputed from boroughs and 
counties, inflamed by the violations of liberty." Many of the 
members had themselves been cast into prison, and had other- 
wise suffered by the measures of the court. They were men 
who had had occasion to examine, with some interest, the great 
question of right ; men of independence and spirit : and, says 
Hume, " possessed of such riches that their property was com- 
puted to surpass three times that of the House of Peers." It 
was to these men that the king ventured, in his opening speech, 
to address the language of threats ; " If they should not supply 
his wants, he should use other means which God and nature had 
put into his hands." " Take not this for a threatening," added 
the king, " for I scorn to threaten any but my equals." 

The Commons were not alarmed. Cool, wary, and determin- 
ed, they went to the discharge of their duties in their own way. 
" Nothing," says Hume, " can give us a higher idea of the capa- 
city of those men who now guided the Commons, and of the 
great authority which they had acquired, than the forming and 
executing so judicious and so difficult a plan of operations" as 
that which they carried into execution. It was in that house that 
Sir Francis Seymour stood up, and debated the question " whe- 
ther all they had was the king's by divine right." Sycophant 
preachers might teach that doctrine and receive bishoprics as 
their reward ; " but he is not a good subject, he is a slave, who 
will allow his goods to be taken from him against his will ; and 
his liberty, against the laws of the kingdom." 

It was there that Sir Robert Phillips stood up and declared, 
that " Amongst the old Romans, once every year, even slaves 
had liberty to speak their minds. The grievances of which I 
complain," said he, " I draw under two heads ; acts of power 
against law, and judgments of law against our liberty. What 
is this billeting of soldiers upon us in time of peace for a punish- 
ment ? Yet, I can live, though another, who has no right, be 
put in to live with me. But to have my liberty, which is the 
soul of my life, ransacked from me ; to have my person shut up 
in jail without relief by law ; if this be our state, why talk 
about liberties ?" Even Sir Thomas Wentworth, the future apos- 
tate Earl of Strafford, could open his mouth for liberty. " We 
must vindicate ;" said he, " What ? New things ? No ! our an- 


eient, legal, vital liberties." It was not long before the royal 
benefactions and favor leagued that same Wentworth with the 
aspiring Laud, in a contest whose only issue was the over- 
throw of all liberty, or the overthrow of the crown. 

The Commons framed a Petition ; not a petition for Grace 
but a PETITION OF RIGHT ; security against arbitrary and illegal 
imprisonment ; against the royal denial of a Habeas Corpus ; 
against the imposition of taxes, loans, or benevolences, without 
act of Parliament; against the penalty of life, or limb, or exile, 
inflicted on any man without the verdict of his peers. 

The king tried evasions : he gave equivocal answers. But the 
Commons were neither to be daunted nor foiled. They proceeded 
against Man waring. The Lords passed sentence. He was fined 
and suspended. On his knees, at the bar of the House, he was 
compelled to crave pardon of God, the king, the Parliament, and 
the commonwealth. Yet no sooner was the session ended, than 
Manwaring received the king's pardon ; was promoted to a rich 
living ; made a dean ; and in due time a bishop. Sibthorpe also 
received his measure of reward ; arid Montague, who still lay 
under censure of Parliament, was made a bishop. 

Thus, in the very face of the Parliament, did Charles avow his 
determination to defend and reward the public maintenance of 
principles incompatible with a limited government, or with the 
Protestant faith. The people were already goaded to madness, 
and thus he mocked and defied them. 

The Commons proceeded to censure the conduct of Bucking- 
ham. The king in anger sent them a message, which he was 
soon after glad to soften and retract: forbidding them to enter 
upon any new business; and to let his servant and his govern- 
ment alone. Such messages raised the Commons to a sterner 
tone. The king was glad to calm the rising storm by coming to 
the House of Lords, and giving his full sanction and authority to 
the Petition of Right. The House rang with acclamations of joy. 
The notes of joy resounded throughout the nation. But the king 
did it with a hollow heart : and coming years showed him as false 
as he was despotic. Restrained by no allowance of rights, and 
by no sense of justice, he could be bound by no promises or en- 
gagements. Nothing remained for the people but resistance or 
slavery ; and when the king was overthrown, his known princi- 
ples forbade his conquerors to hope for any security but in his 

When the Parliament met, January 20, 1629, after their pro- 
rogation, they found that all the copies of the Petition of Right 
which were dispensed, had annexed to them, by the king's orders, 
his first evasive and unsatisfactory answer. In this dishonest 
manner, Charles had endeavored to trifle with his own engage- 


ments, and to deceive the people. Selden complained to the 
House, that, contrary to that Petition, one man had already been 
arbitrarily punished by the Star-Chamber, with the loss of his 
ears. The king had illegally continued to exact the duties of ton- 
nage and poundage, which Parliament had not granted him. 
Oliver Cromwell was in that Parliament, as yet a young man, 
unknown to fame. As head of a committee, he reported to the 
House, concerning the countenance given to divines, who preached 
Arminianism, contrary to the Articles of the Church of England ; 
and " others who preached flat Popery" He also called the at- 
tention of the House to the favors shown to Montague and Man- 
waring, who had been censured in the last session of Parlia- 
ment. " If this be the way to Church preferment," said Oliver, 
" what may we not expect ?" Angry speeches were made against 
the new ceremonies which Laud had begun to introduce into the 
Church ; and against the images of saints, and angels, crucifixes, 
and lighted candles, and things of that sort. Mr. Rouse stood 
up and said, " I desire it may be considered what new paintings 
have been laid upon the old face of the Whore of Babylon to 
make her more lovely." Pym referred not only to the Articles, 
but to the catechism of Edward VI. ; to the constant profession 
of the reformers and martyrs; to the Lambeth articles, which 
King James sent to the Synod of Dort, as the doctrines of the 
Church of England ; all showing that this compound of Armi- 
nianism and Popery now introduced by Laud and the new 
bishops, is a fundamental departure from the Church of England. 
Parliament established the fixed doctrine of the Church of Eng- 
land dragging them out from the corruptions of Rome. They 
stand on the authority of Parliament ; let Parliament now rescue 
the same from Rome once more. Sir John Elliott said, " If there 
is any difference concerning the interpretation of the 39 Articles, 
it is said that the bishops and clergy have power to dispute it, 
and order it which way they please : grant this to our present 
bishops, and our religion is overthrown." The Commons passed 
the following vote : " We, the Commons in Parliament assem- 
bled, do claim, protest and avouch for ihe truth, the sense of the 
Articles which were established by Parliament in the 13th year of 
our late Queen Elizabeth, which, by public act of the Church of 
England, and by the general current and exposition of the writers 
of our Church, have been delivered unto us. And we reject the 
sense of the Jesuits and Arminians, and all others that differ 
from us." 

Whether it was within the province of Parliament to interpret 
the Articles of Religion, is a question which we need not stop to 
discuss. Parliament had established the Articles ; and these Arti- 
cles had become a part of the fundamental law of the realm. 


Was Parliament to look tamely on while the king was subverting 
one part of the constitution, and the bishops another ; and carry- 
ing the nation back into the chains both of a secular and an eccle- 
siastical despotism ? 

Much has been said of late, of the " Fences " with which the 
Episcopal Church is guarded. But with those same fences, and 
by means of the very principles which they involve, the Chris- 
tian world had sunk into the arms of a pestilent and anti-Chris- 
tian superstition ; and had groaned under the iron hand of a 
spiritual despotism during a dark night of a thousand years. 
These fences, of decrees, canons, liturgies, ceremonials, and pre- 
latical prerogatives, had proved the sturdiest foes that the Refor- 
mation had to encounter. The people everywhere would have 
embraced the truth with alacrity, had they been free ; but these 
"fences" seemed equally efficient to keep in darkness, and to 
keep out light. The Church of England was going post-haste 
to Rome. The sturdy resistance of the Puritans, under God, 
alone prevented it. That same compound of Arminianism and 
Popery, which is now spreading and prevailing under the name 
of Puseyism (only at that time it was more manfully develop- 
ed), had taken an absolute possession of the high places of the 
Church of England. Hume has well said, that " Throughout 
the nation" the advocates of this system " lay under the reproach 
of innovation and heresy" 

The advocates of the original and manifest sense of the Arti- 
cles, were silenced by authority. From that day, the mass of the 
Episcopal clergy have gone away from the system of the 39 Arti- 
cles, over to Arminianism. In the hands of a hierarchy, who 
had departed from the simplicity of Christ, these u fences " of 
liturgies, offices, and articles, became as straws ; while to their 
hapless flocks, the same fences became barriers to pen them up 
helpless, and without power of flight, to the embrace of raven- 
ing wolves. 

The Parliament proceeded in their work of vindicating the 
liberties of Englishmen. They summoned to their bar some 
officers who had seized the goods of sundry merchants and who 
had taken one of these merchants from the House of Commons, 
of which he was a member, and locked him up in prison, for 
refusing to pay duties imposed without the authority of law. 
The king sent word to the Commons, that what his servants had 
done, was by his special command ; and he himself took the re- 
sponsibility. In a contest with the king about his right to lay 
taxes without law, the House was dissolved : but not before they 
had passed their remonstrance by acclamation ; and declared 
every person " who should introduce Popery or Arminianism, or 
advise the king to levy the subsidies of tonnage and poundage 


without consent of Parliament ; or who should voluntarily pay 


The king committed the leaders of the Commons to prison. 
Others were brought to trial, in the king's bench, for seditious 
speeches in Parliament. Refusing to answer in a lower court, 
for their conduct in a superior, they were heavily fined, and sen- 
tenced to imprisonment during the king's pleasure. Sir John 
Elliott was confined till he died a martyr to the liberties of his 
country. Even then the people murmured vengeance upon 
Laud, the prime minister and adviser of these outrages. 

The Parliament having proved so troublesome, Charles deter- 
mined that he would never call a parliament more, and published 
his determination, adding a threat against any person who should 
presume to urge or advise him to the contrary. As to tonnage 
and poundage, and other duties levied without consent of Par- 
liament, he declared that he neither could nor would dispense 
with them. 

He tried the plan of purchasing off the popular leaders with 
wealth, office, and letters of nobility. With Thomas Wentworth 
he succeeded, who became a baron, a viscount, and then Earl 
of Strafford. All his talents, body and soul, he sold to the 
work of rendering his master an arbitrary and absolute king. 

For twelve long years the English Constitution was at an end. 
Laud and Strafford led on the king to every lawless act of oppres- 
sion. The king's will was law. His proclamations took the 
place of enactments of Parliament. Every man's property, 
liberty, and life, lay at the mercy of the king and his rapacious 
ministers. They levied duties of tonnage and poundage ; and 
whatever other illegal imposts they thought proper. They laid 
taxes on " soap, candles, wine, cards, pins, leather, coals," and so 
on to the end. They sold monopolies " for gauging red-herring 
barrels, and butter casks * * for marking iron and sealing 
lace," even down to the monopoly of " gathering rags !'' They 
levied ship money ; and of the times, and the amount, the king 
was made sole judge. They demanded " coat and conduct 
money" for the army ; they billeted soldiers upon private fami- 
lies. They exacted loans and benevolences ; they compounded 
for nuisances and pretended encroachments ; they put many to 
death by martial law, who should have been tried by the laws of 
the land." Indeed, what did they not do ? Fines, imprisonments, 
cropping of ears, slitting of noses, and whatever outrages may be 
committed by unbridled and irresponsible power, rendered Eng- 
land for a long time as intolerable a despotism as Turkey. " Such 
was the calamity of the times, that no man might call anything 
his own, longer than the king pleased ; or might speak or write 


against these proceedings without the utmost hazard of his liberty 
or estate." For twelve long years the nation endured these 
things ; and long might be the time filled up with narrating the 
details of these heart-rending cruelties. When I read the history 
of these things, I cannot wonder that Charles, with the two 
ministers of his iniquities, Strafford and Laud, were made to atone 
to the injured people of England for their violated laws and Con- 
stitution. Upon what principle of justice or decency is it, that 
the Church of England celebrates that tyrant as a "martyr;" 
and that Laud, the heartless pander of his crimes, is "sainted" 
as England's 

" Holiest man !" 

Take a specimen or two of the tender mercies of Laud. Dr. 
Alexander Leighton, a Scots divine, and father of the excellent 
archbishop of that name, had ventured to write against the 
hierarchy, a work which he entitled " Zion's plea against Prela- 
cy" He was brought into the Star- Chamber, sentenced to be 
pilloried, whipped, his ears cut off, his nose slit, to be branded in 
the face with a hot iron, fined 10,000, and then to lie in the 
Fleet prison for life. When this sentence was pronounced, Laud 
pulled off his cap and gave God thanks for it ; and when it was 
executed, he recorded it thus in his private diary : " 1st. He was 
severely whipped before he was put in the pillory. 2d. Being 
set in the pillory he had one of his ears cut off. 3d. One side of 
his nose slit. 4th. Branded on the cheek with a red-hot iron, 
with the letters S. S. [sower of sedition]. * * * "On that day 
seven-night, his' sores upon his back, ears, nose, and face, being 
not yet cured, he was whipped again at the pillory in Cheapside, 
and had the remainder of his sentence executed upon him, by 
cutting off the other ear, slitting the other side of his nose, and 
branding the other cheek." He was then carried back to prison, 
where he continued in close confinement TEN YEARS, and until 
he was released by the Long Parliament. 

Prynne, a barrister, had written a book, in which, among other 
things, he had spoken severely of " Keeping Christmas, and 
dressing houses with ivy." " It must be confessed," says 
Hume, " that he had in plainer terms blamed the Hierarchy, the 
ceremonies, the innovations in religious worship, introduced by 
Laud ; and this probably * * * was the reason why his 
sentence was so severe." He was sentenced to have his book 
burnt by the hangman ; to be made for ever incapable of his 
profession ; to stand in the pillory ; to lose both his ears ; to pay 
a fine of 5000, and to suffer perpetual imprisonment.* In pri- 
son, Prynne still managed to write against the Hierarchy ; and 

* Neale. 



after a lapse of four years was again brought from prison to an- 
swer for the renewed offence. " I thought," said Lord Finch, 
" that Pry nne had lost his ears already ;" but added he, looking 
at the prisoner, " there is something left yet." An officer of the 
court removing the hair displayed the mutilated organs. " I 
pray to God," replied Prynne, " thai you may have ears to hear 
me." " Christians," said Prynne, as he presented the stumps of 
his ears to be grubbed out by the hangman's knife ; " stand fast ; 
be faithful to God and your country, or you bring on yourselves 
and your children perpetual slavery."* 

The mutilation being effected, Prynne and his fellows in suf- 
fering, were sent to distant prisons, and afterwards removed to 
the islands of Scilly, Guernsey, and Jersey, where they were 
kept without the use of pen, ink, or paper, or the access of 
friends ; till at last they were released by the Long Parliament. 

Nor did the tender mercies of Laud stop here. He pursued 
those who had showed these men civilities as they were carried 
to prison. Some who visited them in prison, though it had not 
been forbidden, were fined d250, 300, and 500. The servant 
of Prynne was prosecuted in the High Commission because he 
would not accuse his master. 

But the cruelties of Laud cannot be told. He made new 
rules ; imposed new ceremonies ; adorned the churches with 
pictures, images, and altar-pieces ; drew the rituals of worship to 
a closer assimilation to those of Rome. " Laud and other pre- 
lates," says Hume, " had adopted many of those religious senti- 
ments, which prevailed during the fourth and fifth centuries, 
when the Christian Church, as is well known, was already sunk 
into those superstitions which were afterwards continued and 
augmented by the policy of Rome. Nor was the resemblance 
to the Romish ritual any objection, but rather a merit with Laud 
and his brethren ; who bore a much greater kindness to the 
1 mother Church,' as they called her, than to sectaries and Pres- 
byterians ; and frequently recommended her as a true Christian 
Church ; an appellation which they refused, or at least scrupled, 
to give to others. So openly were these tenets espoused," con- 
tinues Hume, " that not only the discontented Puritans believed 
the Church of England to be relapsing fast into superstition ; the 
court of Rome itself entertained hopes of regaining its authority 
in the island ; and in order to forward Laud's supposed good 
intentions, an offer was twice made him in private of a Cardinal's 
hat ; which he declined accepting. His answer was, as he him- 
self says, " That there was something dwelling within him, 
which would not suffer his compliance till Rome were other 
than it was." 

* Bancroft, Vol. i., p. 410. 


In the meantime, the spiritual courts were full of business. 
" Every week," says Neale, " one or another of the Puritan min- 
isters was suspended or deprived ; and their families driven to 
distress: nor was there any prospect of relief; the clouds gath- 
ering thicker every day, and threatening a violent storm." 

These " Puritan ministers" were the early ministers of Mas- 
sachusetts Bay; and the ministers of the people who came 
through the forests to settle the towns on the Connecticut, and 
on the shore of Long Island Sound. The colony at Plymouth 
had lived, and others began to think of freedom to worship God 
in New England. " The sun shines as brightly in America," 
said they, " let us go." We shall leave our native land ; we 
shall encounter perils and distress : but we and our children shall 



King and Prelates combine against the liberties of the People. Popish 
ceremonies and utensils. Images, pictures of God the Father. Com- 
munion tables turned into altars. Natural tendency of prelatic princi- 
ples to corruption and persecution. Their fruit on a broad scale, and 
for a thousand years. Original idea of " A Church without a Bishop, 
a State without a king." 

AT the coronation of Charles, a novelty had been introduced by 
the officiating prelates, which struck the minds of his Protestant 
subjects with alarm. The king sitting with his crown and royal 
robes, the officiating bishop in the name of his brethren, recited 
to him the words of this charge : " Stand and hold fast from 
henceforth the place to which you have been heir by the succes- 
sion of your forefathers, being now delivered to you by the 
authority of Almighty God, and by the hands of us, and all the 
bishops the servants of God. And as you see the clergy to come 
nearer to the altar than other s^ so remember that in all places 
convenient^ you give them greater honor ; that the mediator of 
God and man may exalt you on the kingly throne to be a medi- 
ator betwixt the clergy and laity ; that you may reign for ever 
with Jesus Christ the king of kings and lord of lords." 

King Charles never forgot this lesson. His constant aim was 
to uphold and aggrandize the clergy. His queen, Henrietta, a 
woman of exquisite beauty and blandishments, and possessed 
of an unbounded influence over the mind of her husband, was 
a papist. It pleased her to see papists raised to authority and 
favor. It pleased her to see the Church of England adopting 
the rituals and doctrines of Rome; it pleased the king, it 
pleased Bishop Laud. Why should any favor be shown to the 

* I employ in this caption the most honorable designation of the man the one 
by which he is now ordinarily known; intending, however, to embrace the whole 
time of his ascendency. He became archbishop in 1633. He was made Bishop of 
St. David's in 1621 ; afterwards he was translated to the See of London. His actual 
supremacy in church affairs began in October, 1627, upon the sequestration of 
Archbishop Abbot. 


Puritans, who set themselves so stoutly against popish doctrines 
and ceremonies, as well as against the absolute prerogatives of the 
king ? Why should the king trouble himself with parliaments, 
that dared to question and resist the prerogatives which he held 
not from the British Constitution, but indefeasibly, and unlimited, 
from God ? " In return for Charles' indulgence towards the 
Church," says Hume, " Laud and his followers took care to 
magnify on every occasion the regal authority, and to treat with 
the utmost disdain all puritanical pretensions to a free and inde- 
pendent constitution." But while these prelates were so liberal 
in raising the crown at the expense of public liberty, they made 
no scruple of encroaching themselves on royal rights the most 
incontestible, in order to exalt the hierarchy, and to procure to 
their own order, dominion, and independence. All the doctrines 
which the Romish Church had borrowed from some of the 
Fathers, and which freed the spiritual from subordination to 
the civil power, were now adopted by the Church of England, 
and interwoven with her political and religious tenets. A divine 
and apostolical character was insisted on preferably to a legal 
and parliamentary one. The sacerdotal character was magnified 
as sacred and indefeasible. All right to spiritual authority, or 
even to private judgment, was refused to " profane laymen." 

In one word, it was a conspiracy between the prelates and the 
king, against the civil and religious liberties of the people. No- 
thing but the civil war that followed, prevented the nation from 
being carried back into the chains of popery, and into an un- 
limited and hopeless despotism. 

A few specimens will serve to show the character of the su- 
perstitions introduced by Laud. " St. Katharine's church having 
been repaired, was suspended from all divine service till it should 
be consecrated again. On Sunday, 16th January, 1630, Bishop 
Laud came, with a procession, to consecrate it. At his ap- 
proach to the west door of the church, which was shut and 
guarded by halberdiers, some who were appointed for the pur- 
pose, cried with a loud voice, c Open, open, ye everlasting doors, 
that the king of glory may come in.' " As soon as Laud en- 
tered the doors, he fell down upon his knees,-and with eyes lifted 
up, and his arms spread abroad, he said, " This place is holy ; 
the ground is holy ; in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, I pronounce it holy." Then walking toward the chancel 
he took up some of the dust and threw it into the air several 
times. When he approached near the rail of the communion table, 
he bowed toward it five or six times ; and returning, went round 
the church with his attendants, saying the 100th, and then the 
19th Psalm, as prescribed in the Roman Pontificale. He then 
read several collects, in one of which he prayed " That all who 


should thereafter be buried within the circuit of that holy and 
sacred place, may rest in their sepulchre in peace, till Christ's 
corning at judgment, and may then rise to eternal life and hap- 
piness." Then sitting under a cloth of state in the aisle of the 
chancel near the communion-table, he took a written book in his 
hand, and pronounced curses upon those who should thereafter 
profane that holy place." At the conclusion of each curse he 
bowed to the east, and said, " Let all the people say amen." 
When these curses, about twenty in number, were ended, he 
pronounced in like manner, blessings upon all who had any hand 
in framing and building that sacred and beautiful edifice, and on 
those who had given, or should hereafter give any chalices, 
plate, ornaments, or other utensils ; and at the end of every bless- 
ing, he bowed to the east, and said, " Let all the people say 
amen." Then followed the sermon and the sacrament. The 
consecration of the elements he performed in the following 
manner ; " As he approached the altar, he made five or six low- 
bows ; and coming to the side of it where the bread and wine 
were covered, he bowed seven times ; then * * he carne near 
the bread, and gently lifting up the corner of the napkin beheld 
it; and immediately letting fall the napkin retreated hastily a 
step or two, and made three low obeisances. His lordship then 
advanced, and having uncovered the bread, bowed three times 
as before ; then laid his hand on the cup, and letting it go, he 
stepped back and bowed three times toward it ; then came near 
again, and lifting up the cover of the cup, looked into it, and 
seeing the wine he let go the cover again, retired back, and 
bowed as before, after which the elements were consecrated."* 

He consecrated St. Giles' Church in the same manner. It had 
been repaired, and in part rebuilt; and divine service had been 
performed, and the sacraments administered in it for some years. 
But upon Laud's accession, he interdicted the Church from divine 
service till it had been re-consecrated. Several other churches 
and chapels were in like manner shut up, till they had been con- 
secrated after the same fashion. 

Laud now set himself to introduce into the churches the orna- 
ments and trappings of Popery. To support the enormous ex- 
pense of repairing and beautifying St. Paul's, he raised money 
by " compositions with recusants, commutations of penance, ex- 
orbitant fines in the Star-Chamber and High Commission; in- 
somuch that it became a proverb that St. Paul's was repaired 
with the sins of the people ;" nor was the work much more than 
begun, when, after the expenditure of more than half a million of 
our money, the civil w r ars arrested its progress. 

The zeal of the people in the Keformation had destroyed many 

* Neale. 


of the Popish ornaments in the churches. Yet many remained ; 
and Laud would have the others restored. In the Cathedral of 
Canterbury, there yet remained the images of the Twelve Apos- 
tles, and of Christ, together with the images of sundry Popish 
saints. On the windows were placed images of the Virgin Mary, 
inscribed, "Hail, Mary, Spouse of God." Besides these, there 
were pictures of God the Father, and of the Holy Ghost. In the 
Cathedral of Durham were carved images ; and among them an 
image of God the Father. The dignitaries of the Cathedral had 
procured copes of Mass priests with crucifixes and images of the 
Trinity upon them. They had consecrated knives to cut the 
sacred bread ; and lighted candles upon the altars on Sundays 
and saints' days. On Candlemas day they had no less than 200 
of these, of which 60 were upon and about the altar." 

The repairing of these paintings and images, was considered 
by many as the signal of an open return to essential Popery. 
Many among the most moderate, thought that these decorations 
tended to image worship, and that they were directly contrary to 
the homily on the peril of idolatry. Some ministers preached 
against them ; others ventured to remove them ; and in return fell 
under the vengeance of Laud and the High Commission. Ruin- 
ous fines, a prison, or recantation, awaited all who ventured to 
open their lips against these things. Some were arraigned and 
punished for the very texts on which they preached ; and no doubt 
it was very easy to find passages in the Bible containing no very 
obscure inuendos against such doings. One preached on Num- 
bers, xiv.4 : "Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt" 
Another, on 1 Kings, xiii. 2 : " And he cried against the altar in 
the word of the Lord, and said, ALTAR, ALTAR." Such persons 
reaped the reward of their temerity in Newgate. Says Hume : 
" Not only such of the clergy as neglected to observe every cere- 
mony, were suspended or deprived by the High Commission ; 
oaths were by many of the bishops imposed upon the church- 
wardens ; and they were sworn to inform against any who acted 
contrary to the ecclesiastical canons." Some were whipped ; 
some confined in a dark dungeon a whole winter, chained to a 
post in the middle of the room, with irons on their hands and 
feet ; having no food but bread and water, with a pad of straw to 
lie on ; and they were not released, but on condition of taking an 
oath and giving a bond not to preach any more, and to depart 
from the kingdom within a month, never to return. 

Henry Sherfield was tried, May 20, 1632, in the Star-Chamber, 
for taking down some painted glass out of one of the windows of 
St. Edmund's Church, in Salisbury ; in which were seven pic- 
tures of God the Father, in form of an old man in a blue and red 
coat, ivith a pouch by his side : one represented him as creating 


the sun and moon with a pair of compasses ; others as working 
on the business of the six days' creation, " and at last he sits in 
an elbow chair at rest." Many simple people, upon going in or 
out of the Church, did reverence to this window, because, as they 
said, the Lord their God was there. This gave such offence to 
Sherfield, who was a justice of the peace, that he moved the 
parish, at a vestry, for leave, to take it down, and to set up a 
window of glass in its place ; which leave was granted. 
Soon after, Mr. Sherfield broke with his staff the pictures of God 
the Father, in order to new glaze the window. He was called 
before the High Commission. Sherfield pleaded that that church 
was a lay fee, exempt from the jurisdiction of the bishop ; that 
the parish had lawful power to take down the glass : and that, as 
for the images, it was impious, by the divine law, to make an 
image or resemblance of God the Father. Laud stood against 
him, and justified the images. Sherfield was fined ^500, and 
committed to close imprisonment. 

A Mr. Workman had ventured to say in a sermon, that these 
pictures and images were no ornaments to churches, but tended 
to idolatry, according to the Homily. For this he was suspend- 
ed, excommunicated, condemned to pay the costs of suit in the 
High Commission, and imprisoned. He had long been noted 
as a man of distinguished piety, wisdom and moderation. In 
consideration of his merits, and of the necessities of his family, 
the city of Gloucester gave him an annuity of 20. For this 
act of charity, the Mayor, Town Clerk, and Alderman, were cited 
before the High Commission, fined, and the annuity cancelled. 
Mr. Workman set up a little school : Laud inhibited him from 
this at his peril. Workman then tried the practice of physic; 
but this Laud absolutely forbade ; so that being deprived of all 
methods of subsistence, the persecuted man sank into despon- 
dency and died. 

In the time of the Reformation, when the bread was no longer 
thought the real body of Christ, nor the communion a sacrifice, 
the altar was deemed both a falsehood and an absurdity. It 
was accordingly turned into a communion table ; and removed 
from the wall, so that the minister might no longer seem to be a 
sacrificing" priest, a mediator between God and man, ministering 
as such with his back to the people. Laud now took order for 
turning the communion-tables into altars, and removing them 
back to the wall, as they had stood in the times of Popery. " It 
is not easy," says Hume, " to imagine the discontents excited by 
this innovation, and the suspicions which it gave rise to." " Many 
ministers and churchwardens," says Neale, "were excommu- 
nicated, fined, and obliged to do penance, for neglecting the 
bishop's injunctions. Great numbers refused to come up to the 


rails and receive the sacrament ; for which some were fined, and 
others excommunicated, to the number of hundreds." 

The court clergy were become very exact in observing the 
popish ceremony of bowing to the altar at various parts of ser- 
vice, and upon coming in and going out of church. " Laud 
strictly enjoined it ; and always had a lane made upon his com- 
ing in and going out, that he might see the altar and do reverence 
towards it." " In the new body of statutes for the Cathedral of 
Canterbury, the dean and prebendaries were obliged by oath to 
bow to the altar at coming in and going out of church." 

Laud, also, undertook to enforce by penalties, the ceremony 
of bowing whenever the name of Jesus occurs in the service ; 
and many ministers were fined, censured, or deprived for omit- 
ting this ceremony or for speaking against it. 

The people made too much of the Sabbath to suit the genius 
of Laud. The Lord Chief Justice having observed the mischief 
arising from church-ales, clerk-ales, and other revelries on the 
Lord's day, followed the example of the judges in the 10th of 
Elizabeth, and made an order at the assizes to suppress them. 
Laud interfered, and the Chief Justice was forced to recant. 
The justices signed an humble petition to the king, declaring that 
these revels not only introduced great profanation of the Lord's 
day, but riotous tippling ; and other things contrary to order and 
good government. At the instance of Laud, the king published 
his Book of Sports, declaring it his pleasure, that his subjects, 
having first done their duty to God, should engage in all manner 
of lawful games, recreations, and sports ; and commanded that 
this declaration should be published through all the parish 
churches from the pulpit. The court had their balls, masquer- 
ades, and other plays on the Sabbath; and the youth throughout 
the country engaged in all kinds of games and revelling on that 
holy day. A minister of the Gospel ventured to write, " A de- 
fence of the most ancient and sacred ordinance of God, the 
Sabbath day;" for which he fell into the hands of the High 
Commission. The Bishop of Ely, Dr. Pocklington, and Heylin, 
the archbishop's chaplain, were employed to write down the Sab- 
bath, and to write up the sports. 

The sober and religious part of the community were struck 
with horror. Many of the clergy refused to publish the book of 
sports. Others read it, but immediately after " read the Fourth 
Commandment; adding, This is the Law of God; the other is 
the injunction of man." Laud knew that pressing the Book of 
Sports would distress the Puritans, and accordingly it was pressed 
with relentless severity. Many clergymen were silenced and 
deprived ; others were excommunicated ; others were forced to 
leave the kingdom for not publishing the Book of Sports. 


A Dr. Bastwick ventured to call in question the divine right of 
the order of bishops ; he was cited before the High Commission, 
fined a thousand pounds, and thrown into prison till he should 

Laud stretched out his hand across the sea, but his endeavors to 
compel the English congregations at Hamburgh,, and elsewhere, 
to conform to the canons and rubrics, only showed the impo- 
tency of his malice and bigotry to accomplish anything there. 
The chaplains of the English regiments and factories abroad 
were, however, brought under the yoke ; the merchants abroad 
were compelled to yield ; the king's ambassador in France was 
forbidden to frequent the Protestant worship ; and he took care 
to publish, that the Church of England looked not upon the Hu- 
guenots as a part of their communion. The descendants of the 
foreigners who had fled to England from persecution, and who 
had been allowed to worship God in their own way, were now 
forced to abandon the way of their fathers, and to conform to 
the ceremonials of the English Church. Thousands of them 
left the kingdom, many of them, such as had been engaged in 
manufacture, greatly to the benefit of the poor and to the advan- 
tage of the nation. The French government pleaded the exam- 
ple of England to justify their severities against the Huguenots. 
" If," said Richelieu, " a king of England, who is a Protestant, 
will not permit two Disciplines in his kingdom, why should a 
king of France, who is a Papist, admit two religions ?" 

Laud took another occasion to exhibit his hatred of Protest- 
antism. The Queen of Bohemia, sister of King Charles, had 
earnestly proposed the king to allow a public collection, over 
England, for the poor persecuted ministers of the Palatinate. 
The king's brief, giving this allowance, spoke of these as " min- 
isters :" and of their constancy in the "true religion" Laud 
was enraged that their religion should be called the true ; and 
that the brief spoke of Rome in its persecutions, as Anti-chris- 
tian. He was enraged that these men should be recognized as 
ministers ; not having had Episcopal ordination. His objection 
to calling the Church of Rome Anti-christian is one which those 
who at thp present day are earnest to seek out a less filthy chan- 
nel for the " Succession," would do well to mark. He objected 
to calling' Rome Anti-christian, " because it would then follow 
IN ORDINATIONS ; and consequently the benefits of the priesthood, 
and the force of holy ministrations > would be LOST IN THE ENG- 
LISH CHURCH ; forasmuch as she has NO ORDERS BUT WHAT SHE 


The collection was defeated. Some Puritan divines encourag- 

* Neale. 


ing their friends to enlarge their charity, were brought before the 
High Commission, and a stop put to the collection. 

Conformity to the new ceremonies pressed with greater vigor, 
spies were everywhere employed. Informers were upon the 
watch, whenever a minister suspected of Puritanism entered the 
pulpit. " No man was safe in public company, nor even in 
conversing with his friends." 

It is a weariness to proceed any further in these details of the 
superstitions introduced ; the treacheries and cruelties practised 
by the prelates of the Church of England in those days. 

The Puritan ministers, harassed, persecuted, hunted from one 
diocese to another, turned their thoughts to the wilds of America. 
From the midst of such persecutions came out those who 
planted the early Churches of Massachusetts ; and some of them 
removing southward, began the early plantations on the Connec- 
ticut, as at Windsor, Hartford, Weathersfield, and those upon 
the seashore, as at New Haven, Branford, Guilford, Milford, 
Fairfield, Stamford, and Norwalk. From the midst of these 
corruptions and persecutions, came the early fathers of this con- 
gregation, whose graves are still visible in our ancient burying- 
grounds ; and whose names' are still perpetuated among their 
descendants of the sixth and seventh generations. Till this time 
they had remained in the Church of England : they had not 
separated from it like the Pilgrims of Plymouth ; but they had 
groaned under its corruptions and tyranny ; till compelled at last 
to flee, and looking narrowly into the Word of God that they 
might lay the foundations right, they returned to the apostolic 
simplicity of organization and worship ; rejecting the hierarchy 
and the trammels and forms imposed by mere human authority, 
as the source of that corruption, despotism, and persecution, 
under which the disciples of Christ had so long groaned in 
bondage. The fathers of these New England Churches were 
enlightened, conscientious, bold, and determined men ; who 
valued religious liberty above all earthly price. Their ministers 
were all regularly ordained ministers in the Church of England ; 
among the most learned, the most laborious, the most beloved, 
and godly in the land. Puritanism had endured persecution 
for ages. Again and again had the authorities supposed it 
rooted from the land. Now, once more, the best ministers and 
people of the Church of England had found its corruptions and 
cruelties too grievous to be borne ; and fondly as they had been 
attached to that Church, no sooner were they free, and left with 
the Bible and the light of experience, to guide their judgment, 
than they cast off the prelacy, its impositions, and its forms to- 
gether. In twelve years, during the ascendency of Laud, there 


came over to New England more than 4000 such people. 
Their posterity bearing their names, are scattered through the 
wide extent of the United States. It was nearly ten years after 
the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, before another colony 
was established in New England ; but ere another ten years had 
passed, SEVENTY-SEVEN MINISTERS, who had been clergymen of 
the Church of England, were established as pastors and teachers 
of the Puritan churches in the rising villages of New England.* 

The tide of emigration continued to pour on. " The Puritans," 
says Hume, " shipped themselves off to America, and laid there 
the foundations of a government which possessed all the liberty, 
both civil and religious, of which they found themselves bereaved 
in their native country.f But their enemies, unwilling that 
they should anywhere enjoy ease and contentment, and dreading, 
perhaps, the consequences of so disaffected a colony, prevailed 
on the king to issue a proclamation, debarring these devotees ac- 
cess even into these inhospitable deserts." 

After multitudes of the Puritans had been drained off, those 
who had remained members of the Established Church, unable to 
bear its tyranny any longer, rose upon the king and the bishops, 
and swept away the throne and the hierarchy together. Our 
fathers were away. They were here in the wilderness at the time 
of the civil wars in England. Hooker, Davenport, and Cotton, 
were sent for by the Long Parliament, to constitute a part of the 
celebrated Assembly of Divines; but they wisely declined. 

In that Assembly of Divines, the most learned and the ablest 
men in Englandthough bred in all the prejudices of the Es- 

* Cotton Mather gives the catalogue of these seventy-seven ministers, as well 
as the catalogue of the churches where they were settled. Many of them had been 
second to none in Old England. Perhaps the history of the whole world may be 
searched in vain to find seventy-seven other names of cotemporary ministers, of 
contiguous churches, equal to these in learning, in piety, in cool, sound judgment, 
in firmness, enterprise, and in everything that can adorn the character of a man and 
minister of Christ. There was Thomas Hooker, of Hartford, of whom Jinus, the 
great theologian of his age, used to say, " He never knew his equal." There was 
John Cotton, of Boston. There was Davenport of New-Haven, who was 3tyled by 
one of the ablest of his cotemporaries, " A princely preacher." There were Wilson, 
and Norton, and Elliot, the Apostle of the Indians, and Shepard, of Cambridge ; in- 
deed nearly the whole list is made up of distinguished names. England was sifted, 
and the choicest of her ministers transplanted to the New World. 

In addition to these seventy-seven names, Cotton Mather gives the names of four- 
teen more, who were students in divinity, but who finished their education in the 
colonies. Among these were Mr. Bishop of Stamford, and Thomas Hanford, the 
first pastor of the Church in Norwalk ; who began to preach to the fathers of this 
congregation in 1648, and continued their minister till his death, in 1692 ; a period 
of 44 years. 

t " It has been computed," says Neale, " that the four settlements of New Eng- 
land, viz. Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Haven, all of which 
were accomplished before the civil wars, drained England of 400,000 or 500,000 
sterling (a very great sum in those days) ; and if the persecutions of the Puritans 
had continued twelve years longer, it is thought that a fourth part of the riches of 
the kingdom would have passed out of it through this channel." 


tablished Church when they met to establish a Church Polity 
in consonance with the Word of God, renounced the scheme of 
Prelacy altogether. That scheme came in again at the Restora- 
tion, as the Bourbons returned to France, not by the wishes of 
the people, but by the hand of power. No sooner was it re-in- 
stated than it began its persecutions of the Puritans within the 
bosom of the Church. The Puritans and Puritan divines again 
began to pour into America, and as fast as they arrived, from 
sober conviction they renounced the hierarchy and adopted the 
simple organization and order of the New England Churches. 
" These ministers," says Cotton Mather, " which were without 
any exception, as faithful, painful, and useful as most in the na- 
tion, being exiled, there were not known to be left so many Non- 
Conformist ministers as there were counties in England." Yet 
the spirit and principles of Puritanism immediately began to 
spring up and grow, so that in a few years the same domineering 
spirit of the hierarchy drove out TWO THOUSAND of the ablest and 
most devoted ministers of the Church of England, upon a Pro- 
testant St. Bartholomew's Day. And in spite of all artifices, re- 
wards and punishments ; with every effort of patronage, wealth 
and power test-acts and disabilities in spite of intolerable and 
crushing burdens and discouragements, Puritanism has since 
continued to gain upon the Established Church of England, till 
now one -half of the regular attendants upon public worship in 
England, are numbered among the Dissenters. A large share of 
the remaining half, the old Laudean system, with all its enor- 
mities of corrupt doctrines, superstitious forms, and intolerance, 
under the new name of Pnseyism, is carrying back with rapid 
strides to the very gates of Rome. In all these times, multitudes of 
Christ's true disciples have no doubt lived and died in the bosom 
of the English Established Church. Doubtless, Christ has true 
and beloved disciples among all denominations who bear his 
name. Doubtless, many are found, of whom the world is not 
worthy, even amid the anti-christian abominations of Popery. It 
is true, also, that in the Articles of the English Church, the true 
scheme of the Gospel is traced in clear and living lines. With 
many glaring defects, there are also many noble excellences in 
her Liturgy. But the character and tendencies of the PRELATICAL 
SYSTEM have been legibly written in the results of its past domi- 
nion over the Christian world; For that scheme of polity, th< 
Popish and Puseyistic doctrines have ever shown, in the long rui 
and on a grand scale, an invincible affinity. Those tendencies 
are at the present day broadly developed in the practical working 
of the system in its fairest fields, England and the United States. 
We see here a gangrene, and there a foul leprosy ; creeping on, 
and spreading over large portions of the body, the marks of a] 


preaching spiritual death. We trace the history backward, and 
find the same seeds of mischief ever springing up, and bearing 
still the same fruits of intolerance and spiritual death. We 
trace these unvaried results of the system, on a large scale, 
and for a long course of time, up to the causes which produced 
them. They lie in the assumption of ghostly prerogatives and 
power ; priestly intervention for the forgiveness of sins ; bap- 
tismal regeneration; the validity of ordinances ministered by 
virtue of a power to confer grace in sacraments ; a virtue 
flowing down through a chain of an Apostolic succession; the 
right of the Church, viz. of a Hierarchy, to make canons and pre- 
scribe ceremonies and forms for the worship of God: the denial 
of the right of private judgment ; and of the sufficiency of 
the Bible alone, without human traditions or Church interpreta- 
tions, to make men wise unto salvation. These are the fond tenets 
of Puseyism ; the rudiments and essentials of Popery itself; 
without which all other abominations of Popery would fly like 
straws upon a whirlwind. To these false principles, these tenets 
of superstition and despotism, we trace the tyranny and spiritual 
death, from which so many godly ministers and people of the 
Church of England, found no relief, but in coming out and being 
separate. After witnessing the results of that scheme in Eng- 
land, we look abroad to Austria, to Spain, to Italy ; we cross to 
Asia, where without a Pope, the same principles have reigned 
long enough, and with sufficient power, to show their results ; 
and we find everywhere the same dismal reign of darkness and 
spiritual death. We go up to remoter ages, and a Hierarchy 
with its forms and fences, its decrees and its canons wherever 
it meets us presents to us still the same hideous features of 
intolerance and spiritual death. We tread through the hollow 
aisles and vaults of the Inquisition the places of the dead ; we 
go where the ashes of martyrs are mouldering ; where the fires 
once raged that have long since bern quenched; we go to the 
towers and dungeons where the Lollards dragged out their lives 
in darkness and in chains ; we go where the dragooning? were 
inflicted on the Huguenots of France ; we penetrate the valleys 
of Piedmont, where the nights were once lightened by the flames 
of their dwellings, and the snows around were crimson with 
their blood; everywhere everywhere, we trace the legitimate 
fruits of that principle which denies the right of private judgment 
to the people ; gives the interpretation of the Scriptures to the 
fathers, to councils, or to prelates, under the name of " The 
Church ;" and claims for that Church, " holy and apostolic" 
" the right to make canons for the use of ceremonies in the wor- 
ship of God, and to enforce the same by law as upon her chil- 
dren." Surely the grand experiment has been tried for centuries 


enough ; and on a scale sufficiently grand. What is become 
of the hundreds of happy Churches that once lined the shores of 
Northern Africa ? Gone ! Where are the lights that once shone 
in Asia Minor, in Syria, in Mesopotamia, at Rome ? Gone 
out in a night of a thousand years. And where, in all these 
times, do we find the true light of the Gospel ? Among those 
poor Churches unblessed with a prelacy of the boasted " succes- 
sion ;" among the Albigenses, who, in the words of Mosheim,* 
" denied that the ministers of religion (bishops, presbyters, and 
deacons), were of divine appointment [i. e., that they hold their 
authority according to the dogma of a jure divino succession], 
and maintained that the Church could exist without an order 
of teachers." We look among the Waldenses, who had 
bishops, not such as boast of a lineal apostolical succession, 
but bishops of the people's making, and who held, not only 
that the Pope of Rome is not superior to bishops, but that " there 
is no difference as to rank or dignity among priests ;"f we look 
to those poor Churches, which the Great Harlot, sitting on the 
seven hills of Rome, and drunken with the blood of the saints ; 
the great scarlet persecutor with which Protestant Prelacy is now 
claiming a sisterhood, and a unity of catholicity, to the exclusion 
of all " Dissenters," we look to the Churches which this Scarlet 
Harlot was then persecuting to death. History has written the 
character of prelacy in broad lines of darkness, despotism, and 
blood ; and that over many lands, and for a thousand years ! 
With what arguments, with what honied accents shall the world 
be persuaded to try the grand experiment again ? An apostolical 
succession ! The authoritative interpretations of the Church ! 
We remember who it was that sent his disciples away from the 
tradition of the elders to " search the Scriptures ;" thus for ever 
establishing the RIGHT and the DUTY OF PRIVATE JUDGMENT. 
We remember who it was that said " Prove all things;" yes, 
even the interpretations of the first two centuries are to be proved 
by theWord of God. Surely those interpretations cannot them- 
selves be the rule of that standard by which they are to be tried ! 
It was a true Apostle, not a pretended successor, who said, 
" Though we or an angel from heaven preach any other Gospel 
unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him 
be accursed." " God's clergy, a state whereunto God's people 
must be subject ! We remember who it was that said, " Call no 
man master." The same it was who said, " Ye know that the 
princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them ; and they 
that are great exercise authority upon them ; but it shall not be 
so among you" Long, long, has the world seen the consequences 
of breaking away from this injunction of the Saviour. And 
so broadly and plainly are the principles of this injunction writ- 
* Vol. ii., p. 204. t Jones' Church History, p. 318. 


ten in the Bible, that with great uniformity the people of God 
come to the same conclusions, the moment when, released from 
ecclesiastical influence and power, they set themselves with dili- 
gence to search out the principles of Church polity laid down in 
the Word of God. Wickliffe and his followers came to the 
same results with the Puritan founders of New England. Those 
who worshipped God in secret under the bloody Mary, came to 
the same results. Those who from time to time left England 
for the wilds of America, though strongly prejudiced in favor of 
the English Church establishment, upon searching the Scrip- 
tures, came to the same results with their brethren who had gone 
before. The distinguished orator at a recent celebration of the 
landing of the Pilgrims, was not quite correct when he attributed 
the rise of the republican principles of the English Puritans to the 
time when they found at Geneva " A Church without a Bishop, a 
State without a king"* Republicanism in the Church was no 
new thing among the Puritans of England. It was as old as 
Wickliffe. Too much has been attributed to the influence of the 
exiles at Geneva. That was a drop in the bucket. Before these 
principles were known at Geneva, thousands had embraced them 
and died for them in England. They owe their origin not to 
Geneva; not to the Puritans ; not to Wicklife; but to the WORD 
OF GOD ; to the principles of Church polity laid down in the 
New Testament; and to its delineations of the organization, and 
discipline of the Primitive Apostolical Church. The present age 
may have too little consideration to prize these principles. 
Light and uncertain spirits may turn apostates. But if the 
world should once more sink in darkness and spiritual bondage, 
these principles will once more rise in majesty to vindicate the 
rights of man and the truth of God. Their might is inherent 
and indestructible. In the greater spread of light and freedom 
and pure religion, these principles will ever continue to rise 
and prevail. What our fathers proved by Scripture and justi- 
fied by reason, has now been made a matter of experiment for 
two hundred years ; and the spot where that experiment has 
been tried, though the trial began in the wilderness, and was con- 
tinued in the midst of difficulties, hardships, and wars ; that 
spot has long stood forth unrivalled by any other spot for any 
two hundred years in the history of the whole world. In its 
results to this nation alone, the grand experiment has richly 
repaid all the toils and sufferings it cost. Future genera- 
tions will yet appreciate, better than the fondest admirer of the 
Puritans has ever yet appreciated, the worth of their principles 
to the cause of freedom and humanity ; to the cause of right- 
eousness and of God. 

* Hon. Mr. Choate. 



Plymouth a few years after its settlement. Plantation at Cape Ana 
Naumkeag. Charlestown. Fleet and Colony of 1629. Tolerant spirit 
of the Colonists. Salem Church. The Fleet and Colony of 1630. 
Rapid emigration. Planting of the New England Churches. 

THE settlement at Plymouth affording a rendezvous and shelter 
to adventurers in the fisheries and the trade in furs, such adven- 
turers began immediately to swarm all along the northern coasts 
of New England. In the year 1624 about fifty ships left Eng- 
land for such adventures upon these coasts. At this period there 
were at Plymouth about one hundred and eighty souls. The 
town was impaled about, half a mile in compass. On the hill 
they had a fort " well built with wood, lime, and stone,"* 
Health had returned to the colony ; not one of the first planters 
having died within the last three years. This year they had 
freighted with the products of their trade and industry, a ship of 
180 tons.f 

The adventurers for trade and commerce had now turned 
their thoughts to the establishment of some settlements for the 
furtherance of their projects ; when Mr. While, a Puritan minis- 
ter of Dorchester in England, conceived the idea of making 
these settlements conducive to the great ends of planting religion 
in America. A plantation was commenced at Cape Ann ; and, 
soon after, its management was committed to Mr. Roger Conant, 
a " pious, sober, prudent man," from among the colonists at 
Plymouth. In 1626 the adventurers threw up their business ii 
discouragement. Mr. White, unwilling that so good a design 
should fail, writes to Mr. Conant, that if he and three others will 
remain, he will procure them a patent, send them men, provi- 
sions, and whatever they need to pursue the trade with the 

Mr. Conant had, before this, foreseen that the persecuted Puri- 

* Prince. t Ibid. 


tans in England must soon want a place of refuge. Before the 
settlement of Cape Ann was given up, he had fixed his eye upon 
Naumkeag, now Salem, as a convenient spot for such a settle- 
ment ; and had communicated his views to his friends in Eng- 
land. Upon the reception of Mr. White's letters, he told his 
disheartened companions, that he " Did believe God would make 
this land a receptacle for his people ; and if they should leave 
him, yet he would not stir, for he was confident he should not 
long want company." 

Con ant and his companions removed to " Naumkeag, a plea- 
sant and fruitful neck of land, embraced on each side with an 
arm of the sea,"* and awaited the coming of those who, they fore- 
saw, must soon flee from the storm of persecution in England. 
A year had nearly passed after their removal, when some friends 
in Lincolnshire, conversing together about their troubles, turned 
their thoughts to New England. Might there not be a refuge 
there ? Might they not plant the Gospel there ? Might they 
not enjoy there freedom of conscience, and leave the ordinances 
of religion pure, to their posterity ? " We imparted our 
reasons," says Dudley, " by letters and messengers to some 
in London and the West country." A purchase was made from 
the Council for New England, for a patent for a belt of 
land from three miles south of the Charles River, to three miles 
north of the Merrimac, extending from Massachusetts bay to the 
Pacific Ocean. White sought out and secured such associates 
as could be relied upon for the great enterprise ; men of religious 
fervor, of high character, of enterprise, courage, and unyielding 
perseverance. Their design was to found a religious settlement ; 
and their determination was to colonize " the best" 

On the 20th of June, 1628, Endicott set sail from Weymouth, 
in England, with a small company, to make way for the settle- 
ment of the new colonists. In September, they were welcomed 
by Conant and his companions to the new settlement amid the 
forests of Salem. Yet what will not the restless spirit of enter- 
prise and adventure do ? It was a curious prognostic of the fu- 
ture character of American pioneers, that of the little band which 
came over with Endicott, some seven, with leave of the governor, 
undertook a journey through the woods ; and, after a ramble of 
twelve miles, lighted on the present site of Charlestown. Here 
they found a lonely English house, thatched and palisadoed ; and 
here, with the consent of the Indian Sachem, they began a set- 
tlement. Another company was sent over to Salem, in the fall 
of the same year, to make further preparation for the expected 
colony. In February, 1628, Mr. Cradock, at London, wrote to 
Mr. Endicott, of the progress of things at home. " Our company," 

* Prince. 



said he, " are much enlarged : there is one store ship bought, of 
100 tons ; two more hired of 200 tons ; one of 19, the other of 20 
ordnance ; in which ships are likely to be embarked between two 
and three hundred persons, and about 100 head of cattle." " It 
is resolved to send two ministers, at least, with the ships now to 
be sent : those we shall send shall be by approbation of Mr. White, 
of Dorchester, and Mr. Davenport. I account our ships will be 
ready to sail hence, by the 20th of next month."* 

One of the ministers to whom the company made application, 
was Mr. Higginson, of Leicester; a man eminent for his abilities, 
his piety, and for the great success which had attended his min- 
istry. Says Cotton Mather, " Such was the divine presence with, 
and the blessing on the ministry of this good man " [in Leices- 
ter], " that the influence thereof on the whole town became a 
matter of observation ; many were turned from darkness to light, 
and from Satan to God : * and there was a notable revival 

of religion among them." The matter of Church order and dis- 
cipline was then agitating the Church of England: and for some 
years, Higginson, while continuing a Conformist, had entertained 
scruples of conscience. Pursuing the study of the Scriptures, 
and of antiquity, heat length came out a conscientious Non-Con- 
formist. He still retained his attachment to the Church of Eng- 
land, and refused to separate, though he could no longer conform 
to its rituals. Of course, he could no longer officiate in his parish 
church. By the favor of the good Bishop Williams and of the 
people of Leicester, he was still permitted to preach the Gospel, till 
both the people and the bishop fell under the vengeance of Laud. 
Even then the authorities of the town chose Mr. Higginson to be 
their town preacher, to which place there was annexed a large 
maintenance paid out of the town treasury. Mr. Higginson 
thanked them, but could not comply with the necessary condi- 
tions of conformity. " Offers were made him," says Mather, " of the 
greatest and richest livings of the country thereabouts." These 
he declined for conscience' sake. He still endeavored to do good 
in private. " Many resorted to him for his counsel and advice in 
regard to the state of their souls, and he did much for the educa- 
tion of scholars going to or coming from the University ; some 
of whom were afterwards among the most eminent ministers of 
the Gospel in England. But the fury of Laud could not suffer 
him to rest. Complaints were laid against him, " so that he lived 
in continual expectation to be dragged away by the pursuivants 
to the High Commission Court ; where," says Mather, " a sen- 
tence of perpetual imprisonment was the best thing that could 
be looked for." 

With Higginson, was associated Mr. Samuel Skelton, another 

* In Prince. 


nonconformist clergyman of Lincolnshire. With these, came 
also Mr. Ralph Smith, who became the first pastor of the Church 
at Plymouth; that Church having lived in expectation of Mr. 
Robinson for some years, till with deep sorrow, they heard of 
his death. 

It was in the beginning of May, 1629, that these ships, the 
" George Bonaventure" the " Lion's whelp" and the " Talbot" 
sailed for Massachusetts. Three more, the " Mayflower" the 
" Four- Sisters" and the "Pilgrim" followed them in the begin- 
ning of June. When the first of these fleets came opposite to 
Larid's-end, Mr. Higginson called up his children and the other 
passengers to take their last view of England. " We will not 
say," exclaimed Mr. Higginson, " as the Separatists are wont to 
say at their leaving England, Farewell, Babylon, Farewell, 
Rome ; but we will say, Farewell, dear England : Farewell, the 
Church of God in England, and all the Christian friends there. 
We do not go to New England as Separatists from the Church 
of England, though we cannot but separate from corruptions in 
it; but we go to practise the positive part of Church Reforma- 
tion, and to propagate the gospel in America." He concluded 
" with a fervent prayer for the King, the Church, and state in 
England, and for the blessing of God with themselves in their 
present undertaking for New England." 

After a pleasant summer voyage, on the 24th of June, 1629, 
they entered the harbor of Salem, and descried the eight or ten 
hovels, that composed the town, surrounded by a few corn-fields, 
and the dense forest beyond. The whole body of planters was 
now three hundred ; of whom one-third removed, and joined 
the infant settlement at Charlestown. 

The Pilgrims at Plymouth came as an organized Church; 
having long enjoyed the ordinances, and exercised the discipline 
of a Church, separate from the Church of England. The colo- 
nists at Salem had continued with the English established 
Church ; Puritans, and suffering for nonconformity ; but never 
having established a separate Church organization. Bringing 
with them regularly ordained and acknowledged ministers of the 
Church of England, they had contemplated the enjoyment of 
Church organization and ordinances : nor did they design to set 
up again those things in their Church estate, which they deemed 
unscriptural, for which they had suffered persecution, and to 
avoid which they had fled from their native land. The princi- 
ples of Church polity had been long and earnestly discussed in 
England. Mr. Higginson had devoted special attention to this 
subject for years. He had conferred with such men as Thomas 
Hooker and Davenport ; and, with the great mass of the Puri- 
tans, he had come to the conclusion, that in several important 


respects, the organization of the English Church corresponded 
neither with the scriptural platform, nor with the earliest antiquity 
of the Christian Church. The people who carne with him, 
came with an understanding of each other's views ; they expected 
to set up a Church polity differing materially from that of the 
English Church ; yet, before their voyage, they had agreed only 
on this, that in their future organization, " The Reformation of 
the Church was to be endeavored according to the written Word 
of God." 

Being now arrived at their destined haven, these general out- 
lines of Church polity were to be filled up ; their principles were 
to be reduced to practice ; a Church was to be organized accor- 
ding to the pattern set forth in the Word of God. 

Here might appear to be room for great discrepancies of opi- 
nion, and great difficulties might seem to lie in the way of their 
coming to an agreement, as to what are the principles of Church 
polity delineated in the Word of God. These discrepancies 
and difficulties were not found in practice. The Word of God 
was found so plain on this subject, that their views readily har- 
monized on every practical point, as soon as they were at liberty 
to throw everything else away, and to follow the Word of God 
as their only authority. They had been bitterly prejudiced 
against the settlers at Plymouth : yet it is remarkable how closely 
they agreed with the people of Plymouth in all the conclusions 
which they drew concerning Church polity, as soon as they set 
themselves down to reduce to practice the scheme to be drawn 
solely from the Word of God. No less remarkable was the 
unanimous conclusion to which scores of the most learned min- 
isters in England arrived who had either independently, or with 
mutual consultation, set themselves to collect the scheme of 
Church order and organization recognized in the New Testament. 
Ten years brought over, as we have seen, no less than seventy- 
seven ministers, who had all been clergymen of the Church of 
England, and who had all continued their connection with that 
Church ; having never set up a separate Church organization ; 
all of whom gave up every earthly emolument and comfort. ; 
left their country as well as their livings, and took up their abode 
in a wilderness for the sake of Gospel truth and order ; and all of 
whom, as the result of their independent study of the Word of 
God, came out upon the platform of Church government which 
has characterized the New England Churches ever since that 

The prejudices of the Salem colonists against the Church of 
Plymouth, arose from the mistaken impression that the people of 
Plymouth were Separatists and Brownists ; separating not merely 
from the world, but from all other Churches ; and that they held 


close communion against all, save such as agreed exactly with 
themselves ; adopting the peculiar disorganizing Independency 
of Brown. It was against such a principle of separation and 
close communion, that Higginson spake, when standing on the 
deck and taking his last view of his native land, he exclaimed, 
" We will not say, as the Separatists were wont to say, ' Farewell, 
Babylon ; farewell, Rome;' but, farewell, dear England ; farewell, 
dear Church of God in England. We do not go as Separatists 
from the Church of England, though we cannot but separate from 
the corruptions in it." 

Mr. Higginson, as well as the other Puritans who had remained 
in England, had been greatly misinformed concerning the princi- 
ples and spirit of the Pilgrim Church, both at Leyden and Ply- 
mouth. It was true that Robinson had in his early years been 
inclined to the principles of the Brownists and Separatists ; but 
maturer age and experience had corrected his errors ; and his 
views had become enlarged and liberal beyond the age. Wins- 
low, in his Brief Narration, written some years after the removal 
to Plymouth, is very earnest to refute the slanderous accusations 
which had been circulated by their enemies in England. He 
bears this testimony concerning Mr. Robinson : " I living three 
years under his ministry before we began the work of plantation 
in New England, it was always against separation from any 
other of the Churches of Christ; professing and holding commu- 
nion both with the French and Dutch Churches ; yea, tendering 
it to the Scotch also." Against the constitution and government 
of the Church of England ; against its national communion, 
mingled up of worthy and unworthy of Christians and of open 
blasphemers Robinson and his Church never ceased to bear 
witness. But he ever maintained the liveliest esteem for Christ's 
people in the Church of England, and never shut them away 
from the rights of conscience and of communion which he claimed 
for himself. The Pilgrim Church not only admitted members of 
the Dutch and French Churches to occasional communion, but 
received them into their Church. A minister of the Church of 
Scotland having fled from persecution to Leyden, and asking the 
privilege of being present at the communion, as a spectator, Mr. 
Robinson replied, "Reverend sir, you may not only stay to be- 
hold us, but partake with us ; for we acknowledge the Churches 
of Scotland to be the Churches of Christ :" an invitation which the 
Scotsman, fearing ecclesiastical censure at home, durst not ac- 
cept. When Robinson himself could not go to America, he 
advised his people to take with them some godly minister from 
England : " For," said he, " there will be no difference between 
the unconformable ministers and you, when they come to the 
practice of the ordinances out of the kingdom." " And so," says 


Winslow, u he advised us by all means to endeavor to close with 
the godly party of the kingdom of England, and rather to study 
union than disunion ; viz. how near we might possibly close 
without sin." Winslow adds : " If any joining us formerly, 
either when we lived at Leyden, in Holland, or since we carne 
to New England, have, with the manifestation of their faith and 
profession of holiness, held forth separation from the Church of 
England, I have divers times, both in the one place and the other, 
heard either Mr. Robinson or Mr. Brewster stop them forthwith; 
showing that we required no such thing at their hands, but only 
to hold forth faith in Christ Jesus, holiness in the fear of God, 
and submission to every ordinance and appointment of God, 
leaving the Church of England to themselves and to the Lord." 

Robinson and the Pilgrim Church were neither separatists noi 
schismatics. They were ready to commune on equal terms 
with all of Christ's people of every name. They held it no 
schism for Christian congregations to refuse to submit to or- 
dinances imposed by the commandments of men. If any, 
claiming authority to impose rites and ceremonies which Christ 
has not ordained, thrust his people away from their Lord's table, 
forbid them to worship, deprive them of their goods, and send 
them to prison or into banishment, because they cannot in con- 
science practise such inventions in the worship of God they 
who impose such things, and who distract the Church of God 
they are schismatics ; not those who simply claim the natural 
right to worship God according to conscience and His word. 

A pleasing incident, in which it is easy to trace the overruling 
hand of Divine Providence, had prepared the way for a better 
acquaintance between the colonists of Salem and those of Ply- 
mouth, and for that friendly intercourse which has always marked 
the Puritan Churches of New England. A severe sickness, such 
as is incident to settlers in new countries, bad fallen upon the 
pioneers at Salem ; and Endicott, hearing that there was at Ply- 
mouth a physician [Mr. Fuller], famous for his skill in the 
diseases of the country, sent to the governor of Plymouth, entreat- 
ing that Mr. Fuller might come to their assistance. The physi- 
cian hastened to Salem ; and his efforts were crowned with great 
success. He was a pious man, deacon of the church at Ply- 
mouth, intelligent, well able to give an account of the polity of 
the Plymouth Church, and to show its warrant from the Word 
of God. The prejudices of Endicott and of his associates were 
removed. They discovered that the principles of the Plymouth 
Church were none other than those, at which the Puritans of old 
England had already arrived after a careful searching of the 
Word of God. 

These things were transpiring while Mr. Higginson and his 


company were yet on the waters ; and while they were yet on 
their way, Endicott wrote to Governor Bradford, at Plymouth, 
expressing his gratitude for the timely aid. " I rejoice," said he, 
" that I am by him [Mr. Fuller] satisfied touching your judg- 
ments of the outward form of God's worship. It is, so far as I 
can gather, no other than is warranted by the evidence of truth ; 
and the same which I have professed and maintained ever si nee 
the Lord in mercy revealed himself to me ; being far from the 
common report that hath been spread of you touching that par- 
ticular; but God's children must not look for less here below."* 

Mr. Higginson and his company having arrived, frequent con- 
versations were held concerning the method to be pursued in 
organizing the Church ; till the method was agreed upon by 
common consent. By vote of the congregation, Mr. Shelton 
was chosen pastor, and Mr. Higginson teacher. A day was ap- 
pointed for organizing the Church and installing their ministers. 
Letters were sent to the Church at Plymouth, requesting them 
to attend by their delegates for friendly counsel and aid. This 
practice of sending for the counsel and aid of neighboring 
Churches on such occasions became, from that time, one of 
the settled customs of the New England Churches ; and in own- 
ing and observing their obligation to observe such a fraternal 
intercourse and communion, in which each Church shall, on 
occasions of common interest, seek the aid and counsel of 
sister Churches, as well as hear their remonstrances, and be 
ready to give an account of their doings these Congregational 
Churches differ from Independents.^ 

In the mean time, thirty persons are, by common consent, 
chosen out of the whole number of communicants, to be the first 
to enter into covenant and to begin the foundation of the new 
Church. A confession and covenant are drawn up ; thirty copies 
are written out; each of the thirty persons is called upon to 
ponder these engagements and to prepare himself for such a 
solemn transaction. On the appointed day the thirty come forth, 
and own the confession and covenant in the presence of the 
congregation and of Almighty God. Then the ministers are 
installed. Mr. Higginson, and a chosen number of brethren in 
the Church elders in age, and for this special work chosen as 
the elders [Presbyters] of the Church, lay their hands on Mr. 
Shelton with solemn prayer. Then Mr. Shelton and the persons 
chosen lay their hands on Mr. Higginson.J Both of these hav- 

* Prince. f Ibid, 

J The Colonists at Salem had from the first treated Messrs. Higginson and Shel- 
ton with the courtesies due to acknowledged ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
So with the seventy-seven who had been ministers of the Church of England, and 
who were within a few years from this time installed as pastors and teachers of the 
Puritan Churches in New England ; they were treated with the consideration due 


ing long been acknowledged minister?, of the Church of Eng- 
land, I suppose that even Prelatists could have nothing to 
object against their ordination. The Church and congregation 
recognized no right, in any other human authority, to set over 
them pastors and teachers save by their own choice. The act 
of installation, or induction, was no doubt sufficiently formal and 
regular to make it valid in the sight of God and man. Can any 
tell why this Church, so gathered in the wilderness, and so fur- 
nished with pastors, was not a regular and proper Church 1 Can 
any show it to be otherwise, on any principle of God's Word, 
or of common sense ; or on any grounds that do not involve the 
grossest absurdities 1 

It may be interesting here to give some extracts from the 
Covenant on which the Church at Salem was formed. It is a 
fair specimen of the covenants on which the Puritan Churches 
were generally organized, and which still remain in use among 
the Puritan New England Churches.* " We covenant with our 
Lord and with one another, and we do bind ourselves in the 
presence of God, to walk together in all his ways, according as 
he is pleased to reveal himself unto us in his blessed Word of 
truth : and do especially, in the name and fear of God, profess 
and protest to walk as followeth, through the power and grace 
of our Lord Jesus Christ." * * " We avouch the Lord to be 

to ministers ; but they were allowed no official prerogatives in the Churches with- 
out election and an induction, which was then styled Ordination, but afterwards 
more properly Installation ; and the ceremony is now performed "without the 
laying on of hands. The Churches,to secure their franchises from priestly as well 
as from prelatic usurpation, allowed no ministers save their own pastors and 
teachers to officiate for them without an invitation. The elders or deacons would 
say in such cases, " If ye have any word of exhortation, say on." The formality 
is laid aside, but the principle is still preserved. No strange minister officiates in 
our churches on his own prerogatives as a minister, but only on invitation uf the 
Church or its constituted authorities. Many of the early settlers of New England, 
held with Mr. Cotton, the extreme opinion that a " minister hath no power to give 
the seals" [Baptism, &c.] "but in his own congregation." 

* Each Church has also a summary of the essential doctrines of the Gospel, 
which each person received into the Church, solemnly and publicly owns as his 
Confession of Faith. All that is essential to entitle any Church to the privileges of 
this community of Puritan Churches, so far as doctrine is concerned, is, that its 
Confession of Faith substantially corresponds either with the Savoy Confession, 
the Confession of the Assembly of Divines, the Assembly's Shorter Catechism, or 
with the doctrinal part of the Articles of the Church of England. There is a sur- 
prising agreement between the several Confessions formed by the Protestants of all 
countries about the same age. The Augsburg of 1530 ; the Second Helvetic, framed 
in 1536 ; the French, drawn up and adopted by a Synod held in Paris in 1559; the 
Belgic, of 1563; the Bohemian or Waldensiden, of 1573; the Baptist, by the 
seven Baptist Churches of London in 1646; the Westminster of 1643; the Savoy 
(at the Savoy in London), in 1658, and the English Articles of 1562; these are 
substantially the same in the fundamental doctrines of the Gospel. The Reformers 
of all countries going to the Bible alone, and each for himself; all substantially 
agreed as to the great scheme of truth laid down in the Word of God. What an 
argument for the truth of these doctrines ; and what a reproach to the present Ar- 
minianism of the English Church, so contrary to the manifest sense of her Articles, 
as evinced by the concurrent testimony of all Protestant divines of that day ! 


our God, and ourselves to be his people, in the truth and sim- 
plicity of our spirits." * * " We give ourselves to the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and the Word of his grace, for the teaching, ruling, 
and sanctifying us in matters of worship and conversation ; re- 
solving to cleave unto him alone for life and glory, and to reject 
all contrary ways, canons, and constitutions of men in his wor- 
ship. We promise to walk with our brethren with all watchful- 
ness and tenderness ; avoiding jealousies and suspicions, back- 
bitings, censurings, provokings, secret risings of the spirit against 
them ; but in all offences to follow the rule of our Lord Jesus, 
and to bear and forbear, give and forgive, as he hath taught us." 

In the remaining Articles, they engaged for orderly walk with 
the Church ; to study the advancement of the Gospel in all truth 
and peace ; to be orderly citizens ; to approve themselves dili- 
gent in their callings ; and unto the best of their ability to teach 
their children and households, the knowledge and fear of God. 
" All this," said they, " we promise not by any strength of our 
own, but by the Lord Jesus Christ ; whose blood we desire may 
sprinkle this our covenant made in his name."* 

The remarks of the historian Bancroft upon this transaction, 
are worthy to be repeated : " The emigrants were not so much 
a body politic, as a Church in the wilderness ; with no benefac- 
tor around them but nature, no present sovereign but God. An 
entire separation was made between State and Church ; religious 
worship was established on the basis of the independence of 
each separate religious community ; all officers of the church 
were elected by its members ; and these rigid Calvinists, of 
whose rude intolerance the world has been filled with malignant 
calumnies, subscribed a covenant cherishing, it is true, the sever- 
est virtues, but without one tinge of fanaticism. It was an act 
of piety, not of study ; it favored virtue, not superstition ; inqui- 
ry, not submission. The people were enthusiasts, but not bigots." 
" The doctrine and discipline established at Salem re- 
mained the rule of Puritan New England." 

The Church at Salem refused to receive to its communion 
some persons of scandalous life, and exercised discipline upon 
some who had committed offences. Upon this a few gathered 
together ; set up separate worship with the use of the book of 
Common Prayer, and complained that the Church used neither 
that nor the ceremonies prescribed by the Church of England. 
Their conduct was deemed inconsistent with the safety of the 
infant colony : the governor rebuked them as guilty of mutiny 
and faction, and ordered them back by the return of the ships 
to England. This was meting the adherents of the Church of 
England with the Church of England's own measure. What- 

* Mather. 


ever extenuation mcry be pleaded from the exigencies and new- 
ness of the colony, from the law of necessity, lest this effort in 
oehalf of the Church of England, and these claims of the obli- 
gations of the colonists to observe its forms, should end in the 
subversion of the colonial liberty to worship God according to 
their conscience (for such was the scope of these new claims, 
if not the design of the claimants) ; whatever may be said in pal- 
liation, from their not having had time fully to free their minds 
from the prejudices which they had been taught in their native 
land ; it must be confessed that in this proceeding, as in some 
others of a later date, the Puritan colonists acted inconsistently 
with their principles. But with them it was not so much a ques- 
tion of toleration as of the maintenance or defeat of the very de- 
sign of their emigration ; they were well assured that if the mal- 
contents could succeed in their designs, they themselves would 
not much longer be allowed their freedom in the worship of God. 
The returning ships carried home such accounts from the pen 
of Higginson, and of others of the emigrants, as awakened deep 
interest among the persecuted Puritans of England. They had 
suffered almost beyond endurance ; but they had seen no mode 
of escape, without running into hardships and perils that seemed 
almost certain destruction. Now the way appeared open ; and 
the more so when it was determined that the charter and man- 
agement of the new domains were to be transferred to America. 
Cotton Mather justly describes the enthusiasm raised in England 
when he says," Briefly the God of Heaven served, as it were, 
a summons upon the spirits of his people in the English nation ; 
stirring up the spirits of thousands who never saw the face of 
each other, with a most unanimous inclination to leave all the 
pleasant accommodations of their native country, and go over a 
terrible ocean, with a more terrible desert, for the pure enjoyment 
of all his ordinances." 

Before the end of 1629, a congregational Church was gathered 
at Plymouth in England, of which Mr. John Wareham, a 
famous preacher of Exeter, and Mr. John Maverick, were chosen 
ministers. Great preparations are made for removing to New 
England. Men, women and children are gathered, a chosen 
company; Winthrop is made governor of the new colony. In 
February, 1630, the good ship Lion sails from Bristol. The 
Mary and John leaves Plymouth on the 20th of March. On the 
29th of March, Winthrop with Johnson and other leading men, 
in the Arabella of 350 tons, 28 guns, and 52 seamen, the Talbot, 
the Ambrose and the Jewel, leave the port of Cowes ; the May- 
flower, the Wfiale^ the William and Frances^ the Tryal, the 
Charles^ the Success, and the Hopewell, lying at Hampton, not 
yet ready. Winthrop and his fleet had been informed, at the 


Isle of Wight, that " ten Spanish ships, with brass guns, the 
Jeast of which was thirty," were waiting to intercept them. On 
the 10th of April, they discover several ships bearing towards 
them, and " provide to fight them ;" but these prove to be the 
remainder of their fleet from Hampton. On Saturday, the 12th 
of June, at two in the morning, the Arabella, admiral of the fleet, 
" finding her port near, shoots off two pieces of ordnance ;" 
and descrying the Lion, which had arrived before her, " sends 
the skiff aboard," stands in towards the harbor, and comes to 
anchor. " Mr. Pierce, master of the Lion," says Governor Win- 
throp, " comes presently to us, but returns to fetch Mr. Endicott, 
who with Mr. Skelton and Captain Levit, come aboard us about 
two o'clock. And with them, this afternoon, the governor, with 
those assistants on board the Admiral, and some other gentlemen 
and gentlewomen," go ashore to their friends at Salem. "Many 
of the other people also, landing on the eastern side of the har- 
bor, regale themselves with strawberries, wherewith the woods 
are everywhere in these times replenished." 

Next morning, Masconomo, the Sagamore of that side of the 
country towards Cape Ann, comes on board the Admiral to bid 
him welcome. In the afternoon arrives the Jewell. Monday, 
June 14, the Admiral weighs, is warped into the inner harbor, 
and in the afternoon most of the passengers go ashore ; but find 
the colony in an unexpected and sad condition ; more than eighty 
having died in the preceding winter, many of the remainder being 
feeble or sick, and the stock of corn hardly sufficient to feed 
them a fortnight. The governor and principal men leave to 
find out a place for settlement. At Nantasket they find the ship 
Mary and John. The Ambrose reaches Salem before their re- 
turn. The Mayflower and Whale reach Charlestown on the 1st 
of July ; the Talbot, on the 2d ; the William and Frances on the 
3d ; the Tryal and Charles, on the 5th ; the Success on the 6th ; 
the Hopewell comes at last ; and on Thursday, July 8, they keep 
a public thanksgiving " throughout all their plantations, to praise 
Almighty God for all his goodness and wonderful works towards 

Among these emigrants were Winthrop, Ludlow, Rossiter, 
Johnson, with his wife, the Lady Arabella, whose story is so 
touchingly remembered in all the annals of New England ; 
Wilson, Philips, Warham, Pynchon, Bradstreet, Dudley, and 
many others whose honored names are yet perpetuated among 
the families of New England. " Some of these," says Prince, 
" set forth from the west of England, but ,the greatest numbers 
came from about London, though Southampton was the place 
of rendezvous where they took ship. These were they who first 
came to set up Christian Churches in this heathen wilderness." 


It is not my design to trace the history of the new settlements, 
nor to give any further account of the gathering of the early 
Churches, nor of the distinguished men who labored in the work 
of the ministry during the early times of the New England His- 
tory. Norton, Cotton, Shepard, Stone, Elliot, Hooker, Daven- 
port ; these are a constellation of names which would have dis- 
tinguished any age or country in any period of the Christian 
Church. Nor were these alone. The seventy-seven ministers, 
who left England and the English Church for conscience' sake, 
were all choice men. Those who came over the ocean left not 
their superiors behind ; nor has the splendor of their character, 
their talents, and their piety ever been eclipsed, either in 
Old England, or among the descendants of those to whom 
they ministered in the Western Wilds. They laid the founda- 
tions of learning and religion well. New England, America, 
the world, has already reaped, and is still to reap in larger mea- 
sures, the fruits of their sagacity, their piety, and their self-deny- 
ing toil. Sufferings awaited them; diseases, dangers, and death, 
stood thick around the devoted colonists ; yet, in the words of 
Bancroft, " As the brightest lightnings are kindled in the 
darkest clouds, the general distress did but augment the piety 
and confirm the fortitude of the colonists. Their enthusiasm 
was softened by the mildest sympathy with suffering human- 
ity ; while a sincere faith kept guard against despondency and 
weakness. Not a hurried line, not a trace of repining appears 
in their records ; the congregations always assembled at the 
stated times, whether in open fields or under the shade of an 
ancient tree ; in the midst of want they abounded in hope ; in 
the solitudes of the wilderness they believed themselves in com- 
pany with the Greatest and most Benevolent of Beings." 

The emigrations continued. The plantations and churches 
spread abroad. Within twelve years, about one hundred and 
ninety-eight ships were employed in bringing over Ilie founders 
of New England, and by the gnnrLprpvidence of Gmj^only one 
of those ships miscarried by the way. 



Charles a martyr to his own insincerity and crimes. Attempts to impose 
a Liturgy upon Scotland. Uproar in St. Giles'. Solemn League and 
Covenant. The Episcopal War Charles forced to call a Parliament. 
Laud impeached. Divine right of Episcopacy discussed. Smectym- 
nuus. Irish Massacre. Appeal to Arms. 

THE English Church celebrates the " Martyrdom of King 
Charles /." But in no sense did King Charles sacrifice his life 
for the cause of religion. His political crimes against the laws 
and the Constitution ; his falsehoods and treacheries ; his utter 
want of faith in his solemn engagements to his indignant people ; 
these were the causes of his ruin. His people found no redress, 
save in arms : and when their monarch was overthrown, his 
known insincerity and treachery forbade them to hope for any 
safety but in his death. King Charles was a martyr to his own 
insincerity and crimes. He fell, in endeavoring to erect an 
absolute despotism over a free-spirited and indignant people. 
He had cast his life upon the die; and either his people 
must be reduced to slavery, or he must perish : there was no 
other possible alternative. But perhaps by the celebration of 
his " martyrdom" it is designed to intimate that he lost his life 
in the cause of " The Church" or (which they claim as the same 
thing) of Episcopacy ; which High Churchmen seem to consider 
as nearly synonymous with religion. How then was Charles a 
martyr for " the Church ?" Under the covert of his authority, cor- 
ruptions were introduced into its doctrines ; a wide and funda- 
mental departure was made from the original sense of its articles ; 
its rites and ceremonies were nearly assimilated to those of Rome. 
The power of the prelates was greatly augmented at the expense 
both of the royal prerogatives and of the popular rights. Charles 
was one of those kings, who in this manner delight to " Give their 
glory to the Beast." In the reign of Henry VIII., the bishops 
were content to hold even their spiritual superiority over presby- 
ters, from the civil power. But in passing sentence on Bastwick, 
the bishops, with the allowance of Charles, denied that they held the 



jurisdiction of their courts from the king. At the instance of Laud, 
Charles permitted the bishops to hold their ecclesiastical courts in 
their own names, without the king's letters patent under the great 
seal. The design of this was fully to realize the idea that bishops 
hold their authority not from the crown, but, jure divino, from God 
himself. Half the business of Chancery was drawn into the 
hands of the bishops' officers. The king allowed the bishops to 
frame new articles of visitation, and to administer new oaths of 
inquiry. " In this manner," says Hetherington,* " the prelates 
became possessed of extensive jurisdiction, both civil and eccle- 
siastical, not only independent of the Crown and Parliament, but 
based upon the assumption of a divine right) which rendered 
them entirely irresponsible, and beyond the control of human 
law. Had not the spirit of liberty, civil and religious, been at 
that time vigilant and strong, these prelatic usurpations must 
have soon reduced England to a state of the most abject 

For this abject devotion to the interests of an aspiring and 
domineering hierarchy, the prelates of the Church of England 
have had the addressee persuade the people of that Church to 
forget the crimes of King Charles, and to celebrate him as a saint 
and martyr ! 

They have a further show of reason for so doing, from the fact 
that it was the foolish attempt of Charles to impose an Episco- 
pacy and a Liturgy upon Scotland that roused up the civil wars, 
which overturned Episcopacy " root and branch," and in which 
the king lost both throne and life. 

Freedom still breathed amid the hills of Scotland. A hierarchy 
had be.en established there, but its prelates were prelates only in 
name ; circumscribed and watched by a jealous and undaunted 
people, while the ministers of the Scottish Church regarded 
episcopal jurisdiction as a mere mischievous usurpation. 

Laud now persuaded the king that it would be a good and 
pious work to establish a liturgy and Episcopacy in full form over 
the people of Scotland. A liturgy was prepared, modelled 
mainly after the English, but altered and fashioned in such a 
way as to suit the genius of Laud, and of a cast more popish 
than that of England. In the office for the Lord's Supper (which 
was made closely to resemble a mass), the priest, taking the 
bread and wine into his hands, and reciting the words of the 
original institution of the Lord's Supper, is made to say, " WHICH 


these words being printed in large capitals to mark their signifi- 
cance."! The compilers of this liturgy were ordered to retain 
# London Christian Observer, April 1843. \ Hist. Assembly of Divines. 


such Catholic saints in the calendar as were retained in the 
English ; and in no case to omit St. George and St. Patrick. 
Sundry lessons out of the Apocrypha were inserted.* " There 
was a benediction or thanksgiving for departed saints, and ru- 
bricks were added instructing the people when to sit, when to 
stand, and when to kneel." 

Such was the Liturgy sent up to be imposed upon the people 
of Scotland. Due notice was given ; and on the Sabbath, July 
23, 1637, in the great church of St. Giles, was assembled a 
mighty concourse of people, with both the archbishops, several 
bishops, lords and magistrates, to witness the setting up of the 
new liturgy. The dean, arrayed in his surplice, began the service. 
No sooner had he opened the book than there began a mighty 
uproar among the lowest of the people ; clapping of hands, cries 
of " A pape a pape," " Antichrist antichrist.'' The Bishop 
of Edinburgh stepped forward to the pulpit, hoping to appease 
the people. A resolute Scots woman hurled a stool at his head, 
shouting, " What, ye villain ; will ye say mass in my lug ?" " A 
pape a pape," cried the multitude. The magistrates succeeded, 
partly by force, in expelling the people, and the dean went on 
with the service, while a rapping at the doors, and throwing 
of stones, and cries of " A pape a pape," were kept up by the 
populace without. 

The lords of the council, who knew what stuff Scotsmen were 
made of, feared to attempt the reading of the Liturgy again. 
When the news reached Laud, he was furious, and hastened a 
message blaming them for suspending the Liturgy, and requiring 
its continuance. Again the indignant people poured into Edin- 
burgh. The prelates' lives were in danger; nor would the peo- 
ple disperse till the council had promised to join with the other 
lords in petitioning the king against the service book. The king 
issued his proclamation, forbidding any more such petitions on 
pain of high treason. The barons, ministers, and burghers, as- 
sembled and signed a declaration of rights. 

The hot blood of the Scots was now cooled. There were no 
more tumults; but cool and wary, every countenance bore the 
marks of a determination never to be overcome. The nation 
renevvedly entered into the solemn league and covenant, subscrib- 
ing with their hands their confession of faith, declaring their 
abhorrence of all kinds of papistry ; of all rites and traditions 
brought into the kirk contrary to the Word of God. These 
things they engaged to oppose to their utmost power ; " and to 
defend the ancient doctrine and discipline of the kirk all the 

* The English book of Common Prayer, as also the American Prayer- Book, still 
directs sundry portions of the Apocrypha to be read as portions of the Word of God! 


days of their lives, under the pains contained in the law, and 
danger both of body and soul in the day of God's fearful judg- 

Every threatening and artifice the king tried, to move the Scots 
from their determination, but it was all in vain. The Scots had 
taken their stand. The king was forced to allow the calling of 
a general assembly, but when that assembly was found intracta- 
ble, he dissolved it, and forbade the members to continue their 
session under the pains of high treason. 

The assembly continued its sessions. The episcopacy, the 
high commission, the cannons, the liturgy, were thrown down 
and abolished. Like the acts of the Continental Congress in the 
American Revolution, the acts of that assembly were sustained 
by the determination of the people, and were therefore law. 
" Thus," says Hume, " the whole fabric which James and 
Charles, in a course of years, had been rearing with so much 
care and policy, fell to the ground." 

You will fix in your minds the chronology of these events, by 
observing that they were cotemporaneous with the first settle- 
ments in Connecticut. These things occurred between the time 
when the few adventurers came through the wilderness from 
Watertown, in Massachusetts, and began the settlement of 
Weathersfield in 1635, and the beginning of the plantation of 
New Haven in 1638. 

And now King Charles approaches the crisis that decides his 
final destiny. He proclaims his determination to take the field 
in person against the Scots Covenanters. The principal nobility 
are summoned to attend his Majesty. Every power of the pre- 
rogative is exerted to raise men and money. The bishops exhort 
the clergy to liberal efforts for his Majesty's support in what they 
do not scruple to call " The Episcopal War" The archbishop 
writes for a contribution from the civil courts ; requiring his com- 
missary to send him the names of such as should refuse. The 
queen and her friends undertake for the Roman Catholics ; who 
well approve their zeal and liberality in so holy a cause. The 
English nation is roused to a crusade for forcing bishops and a 
Liturgy upon the poor Scots ; whose resources in money are 
nothing ; and who have not three thousand stand of arms in the 

Every pulpit in Scotland rang with the " rights of conscience," 
and " freedom to worship God." Every Scotsman was a soldier, 
determined for freedom or a grave. 

With a formidable fleet and a powerful army, King Charles 
came and looked on the Scots; and suddenly entered into a 
negotiation to withdraw his fleet and army, while the Scots should 
dismiss their forces. Charles was insincere : but the Scots were 


wary. They ordered every officer to be ready at a moment's 
warning, and every soldier to make his account for another in- 

With great difficulty Charles drew together another army. 
But his means were exhausted : his credit was gone. Thus 
ended his experiment of an arbitrary government for twelve 
years. He was forced to call a Parliament. The Parliament 
deemed it more their duty to redress the wrongs of their own 
nation, than to furnish the king with the means of renewing the 
Episcopal War. 

The indomitable Pym called the attention of Parliament to the 
wrongs in Church and State. Inquiry was made concerning 
persons illegally detained in prison. The Parliament began to 
look into the affair of ship-money. The king, in anger, hastily 
dissolved the Parliament. He summoned the offending mem- 
bers before the council, and cast them into prison. He borrowed 
money. He forced loans. Every dishonorable and illegal method 
was resorted to, to furnish means ; and being at length prepared, 
he marched his army once more against the Scots. 

The Scots were ready, and advanced to meet him. Every 
man carried his week's provision of oatmeal ; and they took a 
drove of cattle to furnish them with meat. They had no cannon, 
but a fertile invention supplied this deficiency. " They prepared," 
says Burnet,* "an invention of guns of white iron, tinned, and 
done about with leather, and corded so that they could serve for 
two or three discharges." These were light, and were carried on 
horses. Thus furnished, they advanced, they said, "To meet 
their gracious Sovereign ;" and with all coolness and civility, en- 
treated the opposing troops not to stop them in their way. When 
these did not comply with their request, they attacked them with 
an irresistible onset. Those tinned guns saved the nation ; 
proved the ruin of Charles ; and perhaps saved the English lib- 
erties. The English, thinking the Scots destitute of artillery, 
were surprised and struck with a panic at the first discharge. 
Their whole army fled. The Scots pressed on to the collieries ; 
and by cutting off the supply of fuel, had London at their mercy. 
They advanced to Durham; and maintaining the exactest disci- 
pline, plundering nothing, taking nothing without pay, they sent 
messengers with redoubled expressions of loyalty to their gracious 
sovereign ; and made apologies full of sorrow and contrition for 
the necessity that had forced them to achieve the victory. 

Thus ended the second crusade of King Charles L, for forcing 

Episcopacy and a Liturgy upon the Presbyterians of Scotland. 

His resources were now so exhausted, that he must either call a 

Parliament or cease to reign. The nation, injured, indignant, 

* Burnet's Hist, of His Own Times. 


and long groaning under every outrage upon the Constitution and 
laws, was now to be heard. The necessities which forced Charles 
to call a Parliament, forced him also to give his consent that they 
should not be dissolved, save by their own act. Thus began the 
Long Parliament on the 3d November, 1640: the very year when 
the pioneers of the first fathers of this town* began to clear away 
the unbroken forests that covered these shores. 

Never was there a greater array of talent and patriotism in an 
English Parliament. Even Lord Clarendon admits that " There 
were many great and worthy patriots in the house, and as emi- 
nent as any age had ever produced." The difficult times ; the 
long continued debates; the deep reflection upon the principles 
of law, and of popular rights, had awakened a mighty array of 
talent : and the people, aware of the crisis, had returned to Par- 
liament their ablest and best tried men. In every crisis of the 
kind, the times produce a race of men adequate to the emergency. 
It was in those times, as when the long continued aggressions of 
Britain upon these colonies, and the long debates, and long con- 
tinued times of peril, had brought into being that race of men 
who accomplished the American Revolution : a race not less dis- 
tinguished for their intellectual greatness than for their pure de- 
votion to their country, and for their heroism. Even Hume pays 
the highest compliment to the distinguished character of the Long 
Parliament. " This was the time," he says, " when genius and 
capacity of all kinds, freed from the restraint of authority, and 
nourished by unbounded hopes and projects, began to exert 
themselves and to be distinguished by the public. There was 
celebrated the sagacity of Pym, more fitted for use than orna- 
ment ; matured, not chilled, by his advancing age and long expe- 
rience." There was Hampden, " supported," says Hume, " by 
courage, conducted by prudence, embellished by modesty." 
There w r as Selden, whose name will ever be considered as one of 
the ornaments of English history. There was Cromwell; and 
whatever else may be said of him, this at least will scarcely be 
disputed, that never was the sceptre of England wielded by a 
more vigorous or sagacious hand. His Protectorship, compared 
with any preceding age, or with several ages succeeding, was an 
era of toleration, justice, and law. Weakened as she was by 
the civil wars, England rose to respect and greatness abroad ; 
and foreign tyrants and persecutors trembled at Cromwell's name. 
At one word from Cromwell, the persecutions against the Wal- 
denses ceased. The Duke of Savoy and Cardinal Mazarin 
gnashed their teeth with rage; but with the whole power of France 
at command, they durst not raise a finger more against the Wal- 
denses while Cromwell lived. " All Italy," says Bishop Burnet, 

* Nor walk. 


< f trembled at the name of Cromwell, and seemed under a panic 
as long as he lived. His fleet scoured the Mediterranean ; and 
the Turks " [who had been the terror of Europe] " durst not of- 
fend him." Power, scenes of strife, and living so long amid 
plots and tumults, corrupted his religious character ; so that in 
his latter days he was not what he once was ; but future ages 
will yet wipe off the stigmas of ignorance, fanaticism, brutality, 
and hypocrisy, that have been so diligently cast upon the name 
of Cromwell. The men of secondary rank in that Parliament, 
as Hetherington has well remarked, " were possessed of talents 
and energy enough to have earned a high renown in any period 
less prodigal of human power." 

It cannot be pretended that all their measures were entirely 
moderate or wise. The times were unfavorable. The English 
people were not, like the American people at their Revolution, 
prepared for a Republic. The past history of the world did not 
hold out sufficient light to guide the great experiment. Causes 
beyond their control ; casualties to human power inevitable, hin- 
dered the results of their labors. Divine Providence overruled. 
But what man may be expected to do, they did. It is not certain 
that any amount of human wisdom or energy, in their circum- 
stances, could have done more. Even Hume confesses, that, 
" What rendered the power of the Commons more formidable, 
was the extreme prudence with which it was conducted." 

These were now become the vindicators of the laws and con- 
stitution against the fickle and irresolute King Charles, the 
bigoted and vindictive Laud, and the aspiring Wentworth, Earl 
of StrafFord ; himself a host, though on the side of tyranny. It 
was not to be expected that such a Parliament would be swift to 
furnish the king with means for carrying on the Episcopal war in 
Scotland, while those same means might be further employed 
against their own liberties. They impeached the Earl of Strafford 
for various overt acts aimed at subverting the fundamental laws 
of England. While the bill of attainder was yet before the 
House of Lords, a conspiracy was detected by which the king 
was to bring the army, raised against the Scots, up to London, 
to overawe the Commons, seize the town, release the Earl of 
Strafford, place him at the head of the Irish Papists, call over 
succors from France, and lay the liberties and religion of the 
people at the feet of the king.* 

An impeachment of high treason was brought against Laud. 
The Lord Keeper Finch, who, on the bench of justice, had proved 
himself the willing tool of the king and council, and had poison- 
ed the very laws in their administration, took the alarm and fled. 
The Commons took hold of those who had been the instruments 

* Neale. 


of illegal exactions. The judges who had condemned Hampden 
in the trial of ship-money were accused before the peers. The 
sentence which had been executed against Prynne, Bastwick, and 
Leighton, underwent an examination. The long captivity of 
these injured men was broken. They were brought from their 
distant prisons in the isles of Scilly and Jersey. The people met 
them at their landing, with shouts of joy, and swelled the tide of 
their attendants on their triumphant journey to London. Their 
mutilated members could not be restored, but redress was given 
them against those who had pronounced and inflicted the illegal 
punishment. The Parliament by a unanimous vote abolished 
the courts of the Star-Chamber and the High Commission. 
They abridged and regulated the authority of the council. To 
all these things Charles, either through weakness or necessity, 
yielded his royal assent, though the sequel shows that he did it 
with a hollow heart, and with the full determination to regain 
his despotic power as soon as it could be done, by flattery, by 
treachery, or by force. 

As this Parliament abolished the system of Prelacy in Eng- 
lund, it is now necessary to give some attention to the causes 
which more immediately led to that event. It was no pre- 
determination on the part of the members of that Parliament. 
" As to their religion," says Lord Clarendon, " they were all 
members of the Established Church, and almost to a man for 
Episcopal government."* Says another, " who lived through 
those times,*' " Both lords and commons were most, if not all, 
peaceable, orthodox, Church of England men ; all conforming to 
the rites and ceremonies of Episcopacy, but greatly averse to 
popery, tyranny, and to the corrupt part of that Church that in- 
clined to Rome."f 

The change of sentiment in this Parliament, and the change 
in that able body of ministers and laymen, who composed the 
Assembly of Divines, is another instance of the repeated rise of 
Puritan principles, as opposed to the Prelatic, among men, by 
education, by habit, and by prejudice, strongly biased in favor of 

The circumstances which led to so great a change of senti- 
ment, were these. After the king had so suddenly dissolved the 
last Parliament, finding the prelates and clergy so much in favor, 
not only of his " Episcopal war," but of his claims to despotic 
power, he gave, under the great seal, his commission to the Con- 
vocation to reassemble and continue their sitting. If the Par- 
liament would not bind the nation to slavery by law, the prelates 
seemed determined to do it by their canons. The Convocation 
proceeded to ordain seventeen canons ; and first, concerning the 

* Ncale. t Moulin in Neale. 


regal power : " That the most high and sacred order of kings is 
of divine right, being the ordinance of God himself; * * that for 
subjects to bear arms against their king, either offensive or defen- 
sive, upon any pretence whatsoever ; * * even though they do not 
invade, but resist, is worthy of damnation" This decree, every 
parson, vicar, curate, or preacher, was to read one Sunday in 
every quarter of the year, upon pain of suspension ; and if he 
should maintain any position contrary to it, he should forthwith 
be suspended and excommunicated. They added the king's 
inauguration day to the number of Holy Days, to be observed 
by coming to church, under the usual penalties. They de- 
nounced excommunication upon all who should print, import, or 
disperse, any books written against the discipline of the Church 
of England. They imposed upon all ecclesiastical persons an 
oath, that they would never give their consent to alter the gov- 
ernment of the Church by archbishops, bishops, deans, archdea- 
cons, &c. Whoever should refuse this oath should be suspended 
and deprived. It was to be imposed, likewise, upon all students 
in the universities ; all graduates, lawyers, divines, physicians, and 

Great were the complaints that the clergy should presume to 
define the prerogatives of the king, and to impose upon the peo- 
ple the dogma of the divine right of kings, of passive obedience, 
and non-resistance. Great complaints were made of this illegal 
imposition of oaths never to consent to the altering of a scheme 
of Church government, parts of which nobody ever pretended 
to be of divine authority, and which were in their nature change- 

Great complaints were made of compelling men to swear to 
the " &c." without denning what it, meander might be supposed 
to mean. It was called " The Et Cetera oath" Numbers of 
the clergy scrupled to take it ; and the murmurings of the people 
were deep and strong. 

The authority of that illegal convocation, and their doings, 
fell under the animadversion of Parliament. The bishops had 
set forth and attempted to impose principles touching the gov- 
ernment of the Church, so mingled up with tenets destructive of 
all liberty, that they provoked from that keen-sighted Parliament, 
an examination which could not well stop without drawing into 
the inquiry, the claims of Episcopacy itself. Such an inquiry 
had not heretofore been allowed. Whoever ventured to write 
against Episcopacy, was sure to be ruined ; his books were sup- 
pressed and destroyed. A new era had now come : the people 
and the Parliament would have light. 

Another circumstance had contributed to awaken attention to 
this subject. When the king was endeavoring to force Episco- 


pacy upon Scotland, the Scots Assembly had issued their 
declaration affirming Episcopacy to be unlawful. To stop the 
mischief of that declaration, Bishop Hall, at the request of Laud, 
composed a treatise on the " Divine Right of Episcopacy" Di- 
vine right of Episcopacy ! Is this so ? murmured many who 
sympathized with the persecuted Scots. The press was now 
open ; and a flood of publications poured forth under titles like 
these : 

" Prelatical Episcopacy, not from the Apostles!" 

" Lord bishops, not the Lord's Bishops!" 

" A comparison between the Liturgy and the Mass-Book !" 

" Service Book no better than a mess of pottage !" 

" Nature of Episcopacy !" 

Archbishop Laud was in close keeping now. The Star- 
Chamber and the High Commission were abolished. It was no 
longer possible to slit men's noses, and to crop their ears, or to 
condemn them to perpetual imprisonment for examining the 
nature and claims of Episcopacy. It was the first time that 
there had been liberty of discussion, and a safe field. The king 
and the bishops had made the issue under the claim of a divine 

Bishop Hall once more entered the field with " An Humble Re- 
monstrance to the High Court of Parliament" and again in " A 
Defence of that Remonstrance" He was answered by the com- 
bined forces of several writers under the strange title of " Smec- 
tymnuus ;" which word was nothing more than the initials of 
Stephen Marshal, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew 
Newcomen, and William Spurstow. 

The debate filled the nation. Letters were written on both 
sides, for the views of foreign divines. Blondel came out in a 
learned work on the side of the Puritans. Amyraldus for Epis- 
copacy. Says Hetherington, " Even the mighty Milton employ- 
ed his pen in this keen literary warfare ; and it is no rash matter 
to assert, that in learning, talent, genius, and strength of argu- 
ment, the Puritan writers immeasurably surpassed their antago- 
nists, and produced an impression on the public mind so deep 
and strong, that it decided the controversy, so far as prelatic 
Church government was concerned, even at its beginning."* 

Petitions poured into Parliament. One, of fifteen thousand 
citizens of London, called the " Root and Branch Petition ;" de- 
siring that the whole fabric of the hierarchy might be destroyed, 
" Root and Branch :" another, signed by seven hundred beneficed 
clergymen, and an incredible number of hands from the several 
counties of England, praying, not for an extirpation of Episco- 
pacy, but for its reformation. On the other side, petitions were 
Hist, of Assembly of Divines, p. 72. 


presented to the king and the House of Lords, by multitudes of 
the people, including six thousand of the nobility, gentry, and 
dignified clergy. These petitions imported that, without bishops, 
there can be no presbyters, no consecration of the elements, no 

The " Root and Branch " petition set forth that, " Whereas the 
government, of archbishops and lord-bishops, deans and arch- 
deacons * * * with their courts and administrations in them, 
have proved prejudicial and very dangerous to the Church and 
commonwealth : they themselves having formerly held that they 
have their jurisdiction or power of human authority ; till of late 
they have claimed their calling immediately from Christ ; * * * 
And whereas the said government is found, by woful experience, 
to be a main cause and occasion of many foul evils, pressures, 
and grievances of a very high nature, to all his Majesty's sub- 
jects, in their consciences, liberties, and estates, We therefore 
humbly pray and beseech this honorable assembly, the premises 
being considered, that the said government, with all its dependen- 
cies, roots and branches, may be abolished." 

For several days set apart for the purpose, these matters were 
debated in the Parliament. Sir Harry Vane, Selden, and Lord 
Falkland, whom Clarendon declares the most extraordinary per- 
son of his age, participated in that debate. The most eminent 
advocates of .Episcopacy agreed with Lord Falkland when he 
said, " I do not believe the order of bishops to be of divine right, 
nor do I think them unlawful" From that moment, the Divine 
Right of the order of bishops was numbered, by the Parliament 
and by the bulk of the nation, among the idle dreams and ex- 
ploded dogmas of superstition. But neither the Parliament nor 
the nation was ready to abolish, Root and Branch, a system which, 
however arrogant and mischievous, was yet interwoven into the 
Constitution as one of its integral parts. They dreamed not yet 
of abolishing the monarchy : they hoped to settle the affairs of 
the nation in good understanding with the king ; but henceforth 
they placed the Divine Right of bishops and the Divine Right of 
kings on the same grounds, as in their claims too idle, and in 
their tendency too clearly at war with all freedom, ever more to 
be entertained. 

I need not detail the -efforts of Parliament at amending the 
Hierarchical establishment. That it needed retrenchment and 
limits, and that great abuses needed to be redressed, all agreed. 
The opposition of the king and bishops only served to discover 
more and more the enormity of these abuses, and the deep mis- 
chief of the prelatical scheme. When at length the Assembly 
of Divines was called, which consisted of men all bred in the 


Established Church, and up to these times all friends of Episco- 
pacy, so thorough was the conviction of the .groundless nature of 
the Episcopal claims, and of its incompatibility with the best in- 
terests of freedom and religion, that there were none to plead for 
the prelatical scheme.* 

One or two incidents more must be added to the causes which 
concurred to originate the civil wars ; and first, the massacre of 
the Protestants of Ireland. " The British Protestants transplanted 
into Ireland," says Hume, " having every moment before their 
eyes all the horrors of Popery, had naturally been carried to the 
opposite extreme ; and had universally adopted the highest prin- 
ciples and practices of the Puritans. Monarchy as well as the 
hierarchy was become odious to them ; and every method of lim- 
iting the authority of the Crown, and detaching themselves from 
the King of England, was greedily adopted and pursued. For 
the same reasons, the Irish Catholics had become the bitter foes 
of the English Parliament, and the warm adherents of King 
Charles. The queen, a zealous Papist, had been informed by 
the heads of the Irish Papists, with what ease they could seize 
the control of Ireland, and aid the king against the Puritans. 
Letters were written in the queen's name, authorizing them to 
take arms and seize the government." This was all doubtless 
with the king's concurrence, though there is a dispute whether 
they had his commission. In the first plotting of this scheme, 
there was probably no intention of the massacre which followed ; 
that was a subsequent addition of the Irish leaders and priests. 
From April to October, the English court knew of the intended 
insurrection ; but no information reached the Protestants of Ire- 
land till the very night before which it was to take place ; and 
when the news reached the Commons by an express, every man 

* An abler body of divines was probably never assembled among uninspired men. 
Among its lay members, were Selden, Pym, and Sir Matthew Hale. Among the 
clergy were Caryl, Calamy, Goodwin, Lightfoot, Prideaux, Reynolds, Usher, Ruth- 
erford, Gillespie, besides a multitude of others, whose names would have been suf- 
ficient to distinguish the history of any other age. The journal of Lightfoot shows 
with what thoroughness, freedom, and deliberation every subject was discussed ; 
and with what care and critical minuteness they resorted to the Word of God as the 
arbiter and end of strife. As to the principles of entire toleration, the Assembly of 
Divines had not wholly thrown off the shackles of ancient error. They, too, aimed 
at a compulsive uniformity. But defective as their establishment was, the nation 
still preferred it to Episcopacy. On this point the testimony of Hume is unequivocal : 
" Had the jealousy of royal power prevailed so far with the Convention Parliament, 
as to make them restore the king with strict limitations, there is no question but 
the establishment of the Presbyterian discipline had been one of the conditions most rigidly 
insisted on. Not only that form of ecclesiastical government is more favorable to liberty 
than royal power ; it was likewise, on its own account, agreeable to the House of Commons, 
and suited their religious principles. But as the impatience of the people, the danger 
of delay, the general disgust with faction, and the authority of Monk, had prevailed 
over the jealous project of limitations, the full settlement of the hierarchy, together 
with the monarchy, was a necessary and infallible consequence." 


was struck dumb with astonishment and horror. The Court evi- 
dently meant to betray the Protestants into the hands of the Pa- 
pists. The castle of Dublin contained arms for 10,000 men, with 
numerous cannon, and immense military stores ; and yel, that it 
might fall an easy prey, it was left with a guard of no more than 
fifty men. An Irishman, the night before the rising, betrayed the 
plot to a friend, and this saved the castle, which proved a shelter 
to some Protestants during the storm that followed. The Irish, * 
everywhere mingling with the unsuspecting English, at the signal 
given, fell upon their victims. Not to trust myself with a descrip- 
tion, I simply copy from the words of Hume : " A universal mas- 
sacre commenced of the English, now defenceless. No age, nor 
sex, nor condition was spared. The wife, weeping for her butch- 
ered husband, and embracing her helpless children, was pierced 
with them and perished by the same stroke. * * * In vain 
did flight save from the first assault. In vain was recourse had 
to relations, to companions, to friends ; all connexions were dis- 
solved ; and death was dealt by the hand from which protection 
was implored and expected." **... But death was the 
slightest punishment inflicted: all the tortures which wanton cru- 
elty could devise ; all the lingering pains of body, the anguish 
of mind, the agonies of despair, could not satiate revenge excited 
without injury, and cruelty from no cause. * * The weaker 
sex themselves here emulated their more robust companions in 
the practice of every cruelty. Even children * * * essayed 
their feeble blows on the dead carcasses or defenceless children of 
the English." * * " From Ulster, the flames of rebellion dif- 
fused themselves in an instant over the other three provinces of 
Ireland. In all places death and slaughter were not uncommon, 
though the Irish in these other provinces pretended to act with 
moderation and humanity. But cruel and barbarous was their 
humanity. Nof'content with expelling the English from their 
homes ; with despoiling all their goodly manors ; with wasting 
the cultivated fields ; they stripped them of their very clothes, and 
turned them out, naked and defenceless, to all the severities of the 
season. The heavens themselves, as if conspiring against that 
unhappy people, were armed with cold and tempest unusual to 
the climate, and executed what the merciless sword had left un- 
finished. The roads were covered with crowds of naked Eng- 
lish, hastening towards Dublin and other cities which remained 
in the hands of their countrymen." 

In this massacre, there perished from one hundred and fifty to 
two hundred thousand. The surviving English were blocked 
up in their defences till the " Parliament was at leisure to pour 
out their vengeance upon the heads of the murderers by the 
hands of the victorious and terrible Oliver Cromwell." 



While the Parliament and nation were under the strong feel- 
ings excited by these transactions, the king entered an accusation 
of High Treason against Lord Kimbolton, and five Commons, 
Hollis, Hazelrig, Hampden, Pym, and Strode. A Serjeant at 
arms carne to the house, and in the king's name demanded the 
five members but in vain. The next day, the king in person, 
accompanied by some two hundred men with swords, came to 
seize them, but they had received notice, and were fled. In 
passing through the streets of London, the next day, Charles 
was everywhere greeted with the cry of " Privilege" " Privilege" 
"Privilege of Parliament !" A sturdy yeoman drew near to the 
royal coach and shouted aloud, " To your Tents, O Israel!" 

The die was cast. There was no further appeal but to arms. 
The king collected his forces ; and at Nottingham, on the 25th 
of August, 1642, " he erected his royal standard ; the open sig- 
nal of civil war, throughout the kingdom." Before another sun 
arose, a dreadful storm had blown that standard down ; nor did 
the raging tempest permit it to be erected again for two days. 

It is not rny design to pursue the incidents of that war, in 
which the royal power, and the Hierarchy, fell before the strength 
of the people; and in which Charles, with the two ministers of 
his tyrannies, Strafford and Laud, perished on the scaffold. These 
were stirring times; full of incidents, and full of instruction. 
But. my design is accomplished in having pursued that history 
so far as to trace the events which mark the history and princi- 
ples of the Puritans. We might go on to trace the renewal of the 
old persecutions against the Puritans on the restoration of King 
Charles II. We might tell of the bloody massacres which he 
inflicted upon the Scots. We might tell of the " Corporation 
Act" requiring all Magistrates to swear to the doctrine of pas- 
sive obedience and non-resistance ; of the " Act of Uniformity" 
by which all ministers, heads of Colleges, and schoolmasters, 
and every person instructing youth in a private family, were re- 
quired to declare tKeir unfeigned assent to everything contained 
in the Prayer-Book, and to all the rites and ceremonies of the 
established Church ; as well as their full assent to the doctrine of 
passive obedience and non-resistance. We might tell of St. Bar- 
tholomew's day, in 1662, when two thousand of the ablest and 
best esteemed clergymen were at once turned out of their liv- 
ings, for non-conformity. 

We might tell of the Five-mile Act in 1665, by which all dis- 
senting ministers were forbidden, except upon the road, to come 
within five miles of any place where they had preached since 
the act of oblivion. "By ejecting the non-conforming clergy 
from their churches," says Hume, " and prohibiting all separate 
congregations, they had been rendered incapable of any liveli- 


hood by their spiritual profession. And now, under color of 
removing them from places where their influence might be dan- 
gerous, an expedient was fallen upon to deprive thenn of all 
means of subsistence." Multitudes of them pined out their 
years in prison. We might go on to tell of these things in a 
long course of injuries which have not wholly ceased down to 
the present day. Even now, under all the mitigations obtained, 
the wrongs and indignities inflicted upon the non-conformists of 
England, are such as Americans would find it impossible to en- 
dure. But a detail of these things would be only a repetition of 
the same conflict of principle, and of the same development of 
the temper, principles, and tendencies of prelacy, which we have 
already traced for a course of more than two hundred years ; and 
yet which we have only partly and inadequately portrayed. 
This part of my work, is, therefore, now done. We return to 
the principles and polity of the Puritan Churches ; and to an ex- 
amination of the Prelatical claims, as set forth by those who would 
fain persuade us that we are bound to abandon the principles of 
our fathers, and to return to the yoke which our fathers detested 
as more intolerable than banishment or death. 



Bishop of Connecticut on the Rule of Faith. " The Scriptures as inter- 
preted by the first two centuries." Dr. Jarvis extends it to five centu- 
ries ; others to seven ; to nine ; to eighteen. Who to fix the limit ? 
Who to declare the interpretation ? Absurdity of the rule. No stable 
ground between Puritanism and Popery. The Prayer-Book as the 
interpretation of an interpretation. Impossible to fix the standard 
of the first two centuries. Episcopalians, on their principles, *bound 
to fix the canons of the Fathers, and to give them to the people. 
Doctrine of the Bishop of Connecticut contrasted with the doctrine of 
the Scriptures. The Bible alone the religion of Protestants. 

THERE are two or three preliminary questions, involving funda- 
mental principles, which lie back of all questions of Church or- 
ganization, of discipline, and modes of worship. If, in debating 
the great question at issue between Puritanism and Prelacy, we 
make our appeal to the Word of God, even Protestant Prelacy, 
at the present day, affirms that " The Bible alone, to the exclusion 
of all Church AUTHORITY; * * is no sufficient ground of union 
and stability."* The Bishop of Connecticut in his recent charge 
says, that " The Holy Scriptures AS THEY WERE INTERPRETED 
constitute THE ONLY SURE BASIS to rest upon: 1 Nor 
does he allow us to go and search those two first centuries for 
ourselves ; oh no ; we must take the Church's interpretation of 
that interpretation, so that our rule is removed two steps back 
from the Word of God ! " The result" he says, " is FULLY em- 
bodied in our book of Common Prayer ; a STANDARD of faith; 
which, he says, " now stands secure, as the only enduring monu- 
ment of the Protestant Reformation." The Bible alone as a rule 
of faith, and the right of a private man to go to the Bible with- 
out subjecting his judgment to the interpretations or traditions of 
the Church, he stigmatizes as among " The Errors of the Times" 
" The continental Reformers," he says, " w T ent to the extreme of 
rejecting all TRADITION and CHURCH AUTHORITY." He laments 
the " schisms," " heresies," " infidelity," " fanaticism," and " dis- 

* Bishop Brownell, Charge. 


tractions," which have sprung from this rejection. " I need not 
tell you," he says, " that there are numerous bodies of intelli- 
gent and devoted Christians ; but without any sufficient bond of 
union and stability ; the Bible alone, to the exclusion of all 
Church authority, the Bible alone, without note or comment, their 
only standard of faith ; and the utmost liberty of private inter- 
pretation allowed." 

Now in opposition to these views, the Puritan principle 
(which, indeed, till recently we had supposed the common prin- 
ciple of Protestantism) is, that the Bible alone is the sole and 
sufficient standard of faith. With regard to the interpretation of 
that rule we have ever held, that we may search for all the light 
that can be found in Christian writers, or in profane, modern or 
ancient, but that we need not nay, we must not bind our belief 
to any interpretation, whether of the Church or of councils, doc- 
tors, or Fathers ; otherwise our faith stands not in the Word of 
God, but in the opinions of men.* 

Let us examine a little, the Prelatic principles as laid down by 

* In laying down his doctrine, the bishop makes several false issues. We do not 
(as he intimates that we do) refuse to investigate ''any fact" pertaining to " re- 
mote antiquity," by the light of " cotemporary history." But that is not the ques- 
tion ; the point at issue is, What at last is the authoritative standard ? Is it the 
Word of God ? or must we make a Bible of the Fathers, or rather of the Prayer- 
Book? Is the standard of faith the Bible alone ; or the Bible as interpreted by the 
two first centuries; or rather the Bible as interpreted by the interpretation of the 
interpretation of those two centuries; the "results" of which interpretation of an 
interpretation, it is claimed are now " FULLY" embodied in the " Prayer-Book ?" 

With regard to private judgment the bishop makes one or two false issues more. 
None of us have ever contended that we may "rightfully" set up "our private 
judgment" in opposition to the Word of God; or that we may " rightly exercise" it 
M in a spirit of vanity or self-conceit," as though in maintaining the right of private 
judgment, we had maintained the right to exercise that judgment in so reprehensible 
a mode and spirit ! We claim a right to go to the Bible for ourselves, without tradi- 
tion, or decrees, or interpretations of bishop, council, or Pope ; but we claim no 
right to indulge a spirit of " vanity, perversity, or self-conceit." If the bishop 
thought these inuendos argument, he mistook the question. If he threw them out 
as correct representations of matters of fact, he did us injustice. 

Another position of Bishop Brownell,in this connection, deserves further notice 
than we can give it here. We hold, that for the conscientious exercise of our 
private judgment in matters of faith, we are responsible only to conscience and to 

The bishop holds that we are responsible, not only to God, but in a minor degree 
"o our fellow-men" He says that " we may not rightly exercise [viz. our private 
judgment in matters of faith], in a way injurious to the order and peace of society nor 
without a due veneration for the judgment of the Church and its ministry." ( Charge, p. 7.) 
So thought Bishop Bonner; and he did hold the private conscience and judgment 
responsible to man. He carried out the idea to its legitimate consequences The 
Pope has ever thought that such heretics as the Albigenses, Waldenses, and Hugue- 
nots, exercised their judgment "in a way injurious to the peace and order of 
society," and "without due veneration for the judgment of the Church;" and 
doubtless he thinks the same of us, and of the Bishop of Connecticut too. But will 
the Bishop of Connecticut allow the Pope to hold us " responsible ?" If so, TO 
WHOM are we " responsible ?" Who may call u? to an account for exercising our 
private judgment in matters of faith, " without due veneration for the judgment of 
the Church and its ministry ?" 


Bishop Brownell ; that " The Holy Scriptures, as they were in- 
terpreted by the Church during the two first centuries, * * con- 
stitute the only sure basis to rest upon." 

I. On what principle, or by what authority does he fix the limit 
at the first two centuries ? If, because those centuries were pure 
and others were not, then does he set his private judgment above 
his standard ; JUDGING THOSE CENTURIES whether they were pure. 
And by what RULE does he judge them? By the Bible ? But 
he cannot interpret the Bible till he has first fixed its meaning on 
the authorities of those two centuries, i. e., till he has first proved 
his standard by the thing which it is to measure ! He, therefore, 
has no ultimate standard, unless he will either set up his private 
judgment as infallible, or consent to repose in the supreme infal- 
libility of the Church, or of the Pope. 

Thus he lays the foundation of his scheme in an ineffable 
absurdity, and imposes upon himself the necessity of rearing its 
superstructure in mazes and self-contradictions without end. 

But in fixing the limit at two centuries, the bishop has an ac- 
count to settle with his more learned presbyter. Dr. Jarvis ex- 
tends the limit three hundred years further.* The bishop in his 
charge considers the Prayer-Book as a fixed and certain standard ; 
not to be varied and invariable. Dr. Jarvis boldly avows f that 
neither is the Episcopal Church established in its " ancient cus- 
toms and privileges," nor in " the doctrines of the Scriptures 
according to the consentient interpretation of Catholic antiquity ;" 
nor in " government, discipline, and ritual :" that " The inten- 
tion of the reformers was hindered from being fully carried out by 
opposition, first of the Papists, and afterwards of the Puritans ;" 
and that " IT REMAINS for us [the Episcopal Church] with tran- 
quillity and patience to PURSUE the great and true principles of 
the English Reformation;" which, he says, "are reducible to 
three heads : 1st. To recover the original customs and privileges 
of the British Church. 2d. To restore the doctrines, &c. 3d. 
To bring back the government, discipline, and ritual, to the 
general analogy of practice at the time of the fourth general 

turies will not do. The standard of faith, ritual, and discipline, 
is not fixed in the Prayer-Book, as the bishop fondly thought ; 
but as his learned presbyter assures us, Prayer-Book, ritual, and 
doctrine are all yet out of their longitude by three hundred years, 
and that a work of ''restoring, recovering, and bringing back," 
yet " remains" to be " pursued " with " tranquillity and patience." 
The Episcopal Church is, therefore, yet afloat, and whither it 
will yet drift, can any mortal tell, unless we may conjecture by 

* " Address to Members of the Protestant Episcopal Church ; or. No Union with 
Rome, dated ' Festival of St. Bartholomew, 1843.' " f Ibid. 


the drift of the current, which is now so strongly and manifestly 
setting toward Rome ? 

"Quern das finem, rex magne, laborum?" How determine 
where to rest ? How shall they decide where to fix the land- 
mark ? It is not in the Bible alone. It is not in the Prayer- 
Book. It is not in the first two centuries. Some say, with Dr. 
Jarvis, it is in the middle of the Fifth. Some say it is at the end 
of the Sixth General Council, or at the end of seven centuries. 
Others place it at the point of division between the Eastern and 
Western Churches ; which point, again, some assign, to the 
seventh century, others to the ninth. Others still, like Bishop 
Doane, Mr. Newman, and Dr. Pusey, declare that it embraces the 
whole eighteen centuries. " The Holy Scriptures, as Catholic 
antiquity has revealed, and as Catholic consent has kept their 
meaning. 1 '* 

But suppose the limits finally established, whether it be at 
two, seven, or nine, or eighteen centuries ; then, 

II. Who is to declare, or interpret the interpretations of those 
two, five, seven, or nine, or eighteen centuries? Private judg- 
ment, surely, will find it more difficult to interpret those interpre- 
tations than the Word of God. Or if the Church is the authori- 
tative interpreter, then who is to declare the interpretation of the 
Church ? Is it the Pope ? Councils ? Each individual bishop ? 
The bishops of each province or country so that what is the true 
interpretation of Catholic antiquity in France, Spain, Austria, 
and Italy, shall be a false interpretation of the same in these 
United States ? Or if the power of interpreting resides in no 
particular Pope, or council, or bishop, and in no house of bish- 
ops, but in Catholic consent, who has that consent? Bishop 
Brownell, in his Charge, says that the creed of his Church ex- 
presses its belief in " One Catholic and Apostolic Church," and 
declares that the expression imports that there is " but one Church" 
He talks about an " Identity " with this Church. He distinctly 
recognizes the Roman Church as a part of that one Catholic 
Church. If, therefore, .the Protestant Episcopal and the Roman 
Churches are equally constituent parts of that one Catholic 
Church, which party may be presumed to have the " Catholic 
consent " that constitutes the authoritative interpretation of the 
interpretation of the two centuries ? Does that consent and that 
right lie with the twenty-one bishops, or with the twenty-one 
hundred ? Does it lie with the little party in England and the 
United States, setting up their interpretation for three hundred 
years : or does it lie with the great party in Italy, Austria, Ire- 
land, France, Spain, and Portugal, who not only symbolize with 
the great Eastern Churches in the points on which these differ 

* Cited in New Englander, Jan., 1844, p. 70. 


from the Protestant Episcopalians in England and the United 
States, but who hold the doctrines which confessedly prevailed 
over Europe for a thousand years before the Reformation ? On 
Bishop Brcwnell's own principles, I do not see why he is not 
bound to renounce all' Protestantism as a wicked schism and 
heresy, and to hasten back, as fast as he can, to Rome. 

There is still another question : How many of these twenty- 
one* American bishops are entitled to a seat in the conclave, which 
might be supposed to sit in determining the American interpreta- 
tion of the first two centuries, even if such an interpretation might 
be supposed to determine the Catholic consent ; and it is a diffi- 
culty which those who depend upon the valid sacraments of a 
ministry of the true Apostolical succession, would do well to ex- 
amine, lest they should find themselves, after all, baptized, con- 
firmed, and fed by hands without any valid authority or efficiency. 
It is this : It is the undoubted doctrine of all prelatists, that there 
can be but one bishop having- authority in the same territorial diocese 
at the same time.-f Now, Popish bishops are regarded by our Pro- 
testant Episcopalians as true bishops ; and when a presbyter or- 
dained by them enters the Episcopal Church, according to canon, 
and in actual practice, he is not re-ordained. But on the 6th of 
October, 1789, Pope Pius VII. erected the United States into a 
bishopric, and appointed " John Carroll, an ancient Jesuit " (as the 
record says), its bishop. At this time there was a Protestant 
Bishop in Connecticut, another in New York, and another in 
Pennsylvania; but the rest of the ground had no bishop. On the 
principles of Episcopacy, it was all missionary, or heathen 
ground. In a National Convention for determining the " Catholic 
assent," save in these three States, the Protestant Bishops must be 
regarded as mere usurpers. Is this doubted ? Hear, then, au- 
thority, which those concerned are not. allowed to doubt. Cyprian 
declares it " contrary to law, for two bishops to preside together in 
the same city." This also was determined on by the Council of Nice, 
and became a settled proverb, " One God, one Christ, one Bishop," 
two bishops being, as Theodoret testifies, infamous. So that 
whoever is made a bishop in any given territory after the first, is not 
a second bishop, but no bishop at all. Let those who have passed 
under the hands of the Protestant bishops in the vast majority of 
these United States, take care. What right has Bishop Whitting- 
ham in Maryland,where there was even a popish archbishop before 
him ? J What right has Bishop Kemper in Missouri ? or McCos- 
kry in Michigan ? or Smith in Kentucky ? or Polk in Louisiana ? 

* A. D. 1843. 

t See Chapin's Primitive Church, dedicated to Bp. Brownell. 
\ It is not for those to gainsay this appointing of a bishop to foreign unoccupied 
territory, who have so recently made a bishop for Texas. 


or Chase in Illinois ? Over these fields the Roman bishops had 
already extended their jurisdiction. The Popish title is, therefore, 
on the prelatical principle, indefeasible in these dioceses ; and all 
the doings of the Protestant prelates, absolutely void and null ; 
and their voices can weigh nothing in the supposed convention 
for determining the Catholic consent. 

Now I do maintain, in all soberness, that if we are to depend 
upon Church authority to interpret the interpretations of the first 
two centuries, we can, with no manner of consistency or reason, 
stop with Protestant Episcopacy. We cannot linger on the road 
with Bishops Whittingham and Doane, and the Tractarians. 
We shall not palter with Romish principles, and still call our- 
selves Protestant, like the Bishop of Connecticut. We must go 
directly to Rome, whither these principles inevitably tend. 

Waiving all these difficulties, however, and supposing the 
Prayer-Book of two countries, and of three hundred years and 
not the Mass-Books of many countries, for a thousand years to 
be the authoritative interpretation of the interpretation of the first 
two centuries, then, 

III. Even that standard, the Prayer- Book, has proved no ground 
of quietness and repose, but is even now the ground of turmoil and 
of war. While all parties praise it, the system of doctrines which 
the Evangelical and the Puseyistic parties draw from that stand- 
ard, are fundamentally and irreconcileably opposed. Several of 
the bishops have denounced the latter scheme as " another Gos- 
pel ;" while several others as openly avow and as strenuously de- 
fend it* Nothing is more notorious than that the body of the clergy 
and people of the Episcopal Church no longer hold, but utterly 
reject some of the doctrines unequivocally set forth in the Thirty- 
Nine Articles. Thus the Seventeenth Article clearly teaches 
the final perseverance of all the elect: and so it was authorita- 
tively interpreted in the Fifth of the celebrated Lambeth Articles : 
" The true, lively, and justifying faith, and the Spirit of God, 
doth not utterly fail, doth not vanish away in the elect, either finally 
or totally" Such was the doctrine of the Church : yet the Bishop 
of Connecticut says, in his Charge (p. 22), " The idea of a per- 
severance in grace is popularly connected with a change of heart; 
and it is hence inferred, that if a person is regenerated in baptism, 
his salvation is secured : but the Church holds no such doctrine/' 
" But the grace vouchsafed in baptism may be misim- 
proved and lost." King James not only sent the Lambeth Arti- 
cles to the Synod of Dort, as the authoritative interpretation of 
the Church of England, but he declared one who held to the 

* See "The Churchman," and "Protestant Churchman." See also Bishop 
Mcllvaine's elaborate and admirable exposure of the Popery of Puseyism; see also 
the testimony of Dr. Milnor, and of the Bishop of Calcutta. 


notion of falling from grace* to be " worthy of the fire" Dr. Wain- 
wright, in his recent letters, earnestly denounces the dogmas of 
election and reprobation ; and declares the Episcopal doctrine to 
be, " The system of free grace and of salvation within the reach of 
all :" " The gates are continually open to every man," * " to 
which no man is admitted, and from which no man is excluded, by 
any unconditional decree of the Almighty" Would any man ima- 
gine that Dr. Wainwrighl belonged to that Church, which puts 
forth as fundamental in its scheme of faith, these words of the 
Tenth Article : " The condition of man after the fall of Adam, is 
such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural 
strength and good works, to faith and calling upon God ; where- 
fore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable 
to God." Would any one dream that Dr. Wainwright belonged 
to that Church, which so absolutely sets forth the doctrine of ab- 
solute predestination in its seventeenth Article ; and which declares 
that doctrine to be full of sweet and pleasant, and unspeakable 
comfort to godly persons ?" Dr. Wainwright's private judgment 
will not do here ; nor must Bishop Brown ell trust his own. The 
Church authoritatively interpreted these Articles, by the Articles 
of Lambeth ; in which she declares, that " God hath from Eter- 
nity predestinated certain persons to life ; and reprobated certain 
persons to death." This predestination and reprobation, the Ar- 
ticles make absolute, unconditional, and utterly irreversible. 

Now all this war of Puseyism and Evangelism this discor- 
dant interpretation of the same standard in different ages, comes 
most naturally from the setting up of human standards as a safer 
authority than the Word of God. If the Bible needs interpret- 
ing, much more does the Prayer-Book need interpreting. If the 
first, though the perfect Word of God, affords grounds for differ- 
ence in the interpretation, how much more must differences arise 
in interpreting an extended work of poor ignorant and erring 
man ? Thus, while that Church boasts of her stability as pos- 
sessed of a standard so much safer than the Word of God, she 
becomes like him of old, of whom it was said, " Unstable as 
water, he shall not excel." Nor is it possible to fix this floating 
and Protean standard on the principle of authoritative interpreta- 
tion. Suppose the next General Convention of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church possessed of entire authority, to give a decision 
between the conflicting interpretations of Evangelism and Pu- 
seyism ; suppose their results should be, no commingled and 
equivocal compromise between the two parties, as it is to be 
expected,* but a plain, straightforward document, intending 
finally to settle the meaning of the Standards : if that decision 
shall sustain the Puseyistic views, will the Bishops of Vermont 

* The General Convention has met, and this expectation has been fulfilled 


and Ohio conclude to receive that as the true Gospel which they 
have so earnestly and solemnly declared another Gospel ? Or 
should their views prevail, will Bishops Doane and Whittingham 
surrender to- that, the faith for which they have so strenuously 
contended as the doctrine of ancient Catholic consent? But 
suppose the General Convention to agree in a definitive inter- 
pretation : Who is to interpret the General Convention ? Here 
is a circuitous way of coming at the standard of faith : God has 
given his pure and perfect Word, by which all things are to be 
measured, and which is to be measured by none. " Jf any man 
shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues 
that are written in this Book." Is that book, then, the ultimate 
standard? Is the Bible alone, without note or comment, a 
" sufficient bond of union and stability ?" O no ! We are told 
that we must " add unto" it the interpretation of the "first two 
centuries !" Unfortunately, at the Reformation, there is a differ- 
ence of opinion as to the interpretation of the first two centuries ; 
and the bishops of a little province set up their interpretations 
against the bishops of the Catholic World, and against the 
" Catholic consent " for a thousand years ! To what do they ap- 
peal ? To the Bible alone ? Do they then allow the right of 
private judgment ? Alas ! the Continental Reformers, says 
Bishop Brownell, " went to that extreme of rejecting all tradi- 
tion and Church authority" (and so did the British Reformers 
too): but now he will have it that the Bible alone is no sufficient 
standard, nor must private judgment set itself up against the 
judgments of the Church. Is the little handful of Protestant 
bishops, for this purpose, the Church? But suppose they are ; 
they fundamentally disagree. Who is to interpret them ? Oh, 
the General Convention! Who now is to interpret the General 
Convention ? Where, on this principle, is the ground, on which 
to adopt the language of Bishop Brownell " wearied with 
perpetual agitation and changes," we may " find rest and repose ?" 
Instead of repose, another element of discord is thrown into the 
hurly-burly, by interposing still another interpretation of an in- 
terpretation, which was originally but an interpretation of an in- 
terpretation, of the interpretation which the first two centuries 
gave of the Word of God ! The difficulties are multiplied in 
the duplicate ratio of the number of removes from the original 
standard ; and by what shall we adjust them now ? By the 
Bible ? What, by the Bible alone / and by private judgment, 
without reference to tradition, or the authority of the Church ? 
O no this is the Puritan ground, which the bishop so earnestly 
rejects. He must take his choice, then, of the only two alterna- 
tives that remain : these difficulties are to be settled either by the 
infallibility of the Pope ; or they are to abide the decision of 


some future interpretation, which yet depends upon one more 
remotely future, and that remote future upon another future ; 
and so on, till the Day of Doom. If we take neither of these 
last alternatives, then we are driven conclusively to private judg- 
ment: and then, if we take not the Bible alone as the sole and 
sufficient standard, we must chase the shadow of the shadow 
of an ignis fatuus, and follow it whithersoever it may chance to 
fly, through swamps and quagmires, with no possibility of being 
able to plant our feet at last upon solid ground. THERE is NO 


AND POPERY. Dr. Jarvis, indeed, sets forth* as a "glorious ob- 
ject of an American Christian's contemplation, " A GREAT AME- 
RICAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, equally removed from the extremes 
of Popery and Protestantism" fie has a very pleasing argu- 
ment to show that "if ever the broken parts of Christ's body 
come together" it must be " not upon the extremes, but in the 
middle." He will find it a hard matter, however, when he has 
leaped from the brink of Niagara, to stop half-way down. The 
experiment, as well as the philosophy of the thing, in the other 
Brownell, in his charge, speaks of " repose and stability " in the 
Episcopal " Standards of Faith " and " primitive forms of wor- 
ship." Repose ? Here is no possibility of repose ! Here is no 
bottom ; no shore : but 

" A dark 
Illimitable ocean without bound :" 

" Chaos umpire sits, 
And by decision more embroils the fray 
By which he reigns ; next him, high arbiter 
CHANCE governs all." 

Those who have fled to Church traditions and interpretations, 
and to Church authority, hoping to find repose in these, rather 
than on the basis of God's Word alone, have already begun to 
discover that it is time to remove once more to the bosom of an 
older mother. There is no rest to such lovers of repose, save in 
the infallibility of Rome.-) 1 

* Address to members of Prot. Epis. Church. 

t Mr. Newman began on this point with affirming antiquity to be a much more 
stable and inflexible guide than the Word of God. " A private Christian," said he, 
"may put what meaning he pleases upon parts of SCRIPTURE, and none can hinder him." 
* * * " But we cannot so deal with ANTIQUITY. Antiquity does not allow scope 
for the off-hand or capricious decisions of private judgment." [Mr. Newman has (two 
years since the above was written) taken refuge in the infallibility of Rome. If the 
Bishop of Connecticut does not go there too, it will be because he follows neither 
his principle nor the logic by which he sustains it.] But it was not long ere a 
brother Tractarian discovered that it was as hard to interpret antiquity, as to inter- 
pret the Bible. " Is not private judgment" said he, lt as apt to mislead in the interpre- 
tation of antiquity, as in that of Scripture ?" He comes to the conclusion that, after 


IV. It is impossible to fix the standards of the first two 

The Bible is complete : given by inspiration of God, and by 
his signal providence preserved. Its canon is fixed and unalter- 
able. The Prayer-Book, it is true, yet orders parts of the Apo- 
crypha to be read on certain saints' days : but Protestants appear 
now to be agreed that the Apocrypha is no part of the Word of 
God. The canon of the Bible is therefore fixed ; but no research 
has been able wholly to separate the spurious writings attributed 
to the Fathers, from the true. Whole epistles and treatises have 
been forged : alterations and interpolations have been made, for 
the purpose of favoring the corruptions of Rome. There was 
opportunity to do this ; these writings, never having been re- 
ceived as the Word of God, were never extensively translated 
and spread abroad. For ages, many of them were laid aside, 
time out of mind ; and, from time to time, dug out of the dust, 
and brought to light. It is not two centuries since one of the 
oldest of them all, that of Clemens Romanus, was dug from the 
dust, after having been lost and unknown for a thousand years. 
That oblivion was its protection from the mutilations, the changes, 
and interpolations, which were inextricably mingled up with such 
works as monks and priests were able to lay their hands upon. 
As different works attributed to the Fathers were brought to light, 

all, THE JUDGMENT OF THE CHURCH (not the Bible, nor antiquity) is to be the rule 
of faith. " We have in no ivay maintained,^ says he, " that an ordinary religious inquirer 
would have any chance of discovering for himself the truth, by his personal study of the 
Fathers." Here we have it: Popery at full length; the result wrapped up in the 
principle of Bishop Brownell ; though he seems not to be aware of it; and would 
doubtless, at this stage of his progress, be frightened by a full view of this awful 
progeny of his own principles. But the Oxford Tractarian more far-seeing, or 
more consistent manfully embraces the conclusion. " We have no hesitation," 
says he, " in speaking of resorting to Church history in the manner we do, as the 
result of our degraded position. In the time of Augustine, or St. Thomas Aquinas, 
it would be a matter of conscientious inquiry whether they should follow the 
Church's instructions, as in our days, with infants, whether they shall believe what 
their parents teach them." Here we have it in full. The Bible is no safe standard : 
private judgment is not to be trusted with the Fathers; we must FOLLOW THE 
CHURCH'S INSTRUCTIONS: away with the Bible; away with the Fathers; away 
with private judgment: give us sprigs of living infallibity ; and as these will 
make a Babel of their diverse interpretations, let us have that infallibility concen- 
trated and made of one speech in a POPE. 

" It is a hopeful sign," says Goode, " that we have at last got to the second stage 
of the controversy, when our opponents are quitting the Fathers, and making the best 
of their way, in various directions, AFTER THE CHURCH." * * * "And the next 
question will no doubt be : How are we to get introduced to the Church ? Whether 
by the Pope himself; or whether the good offices of any individual priest will do ? 
And if by the Pope, whether by the Pope in the chair, or whether the Pope out 
of the chair, will do 1 or whether it must be a Pope and General Council ? &c , &c." 
" The contest is between Reformation Truth and Reformation Principles on the one hand, 
and Romish Principles and Romish Truth on the other.'" 

On the system of Bishop Brownell, the Church is made a co-ordinate authority 
with God ; her interpretations are a rule, not simplv co-ordinate with the Word of 
Jehovah, but a rule paramount to that Word : since her interpretations fix and govern 
its meaning. The system is Church-anity rather than Christianity ; and its advocates 
very appropriately and consistently prefer the style of Church-men to that of Christian. 


the corruptions were gradually detected. False dates, allusions 
to events of later years, words and phrases unknown to the Fath- 
ers, and indicative of a later age, detected many entire forgeries, 
which, after having been relied upon for centuries, were at length 
given up by the entire Christian world. In most that remain, 
we have not the originals ; but only fragments, quoted in writers 
of a later date. To this day, the genuine writings, and the gen- 
uine readings of those supposed in the main to be genuine, are 
unsettled : learned men of all communions still holding them in 

Besides this, the early Fathers, in their writings, which are 
allowed to be genuine, betray gross unsoundness, erring and mis- 
taking in many of the clearest and most indubitable principles of 
the Word of God. Crudities, errors of judgment and of igno- 
rance, fables, a mingling of Christianity with the various fond 
tenets of the philosophy prevalent in their respective countries 
and ages, have greatly marred their expositions of divine truth. 
They conflicted with each other. Origen, the most learned of the 
ancient Fathers, adopted principles of interpretation which all de- 
nominations in the world reprobate at the present day. He 
actually mutilated his own body, because the Saviour had said, 
" Some have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of Hea- 
ven's sake." It. seems as though Christ had intended, not only to 
ivarn us against reliance upon the Fathers, by charging us to " call 
no man master ;" but that God by his Providence intended to 
beat us off from this reliance, by confounding the builders of such 
a Babel, even in the days of those who had seen the Apostles. 
Even so early it became a question, on what time they should 
keep Easter. Both sides pleaded with confidence that their tra- 
dition was apostolical. Polycarp pleaded that he had been 
acquainted with the Apostle John. Anicetus of Rome pleaded 
that he had his tradition from the Apostle Peter. Here were the 
Fathers only one remove from the Apostles, on a plain matter 
of fact. And yet, says Stillingfleet, " So great were the heats, so 
irreconcilable the controversy, that they proceeded to hurl the 
thunder of excommunication in each other's faces ; and at length 
Victor', in the spirit of a Pope, excommunicated all the Churches 
of Asia, for differing as to this tradition. The small coals of this 
contention kindled a whole ^Etna of contention in all the Chris- 
tian world." 

Now what was good in the so called Fathers we readily ap- 
prove. Let them pass for witnesses of facts which came under 
their own observation ; let them, if they please, testify as to their 
opinions ; but if we must measure the doctrine of " an Apostle 
or of an angel from Heaven" by the Word of God, how much 
more must we measure the opinion of the Fathers? We can- 
not receive as the standard that which we are presently to PROVE 


by another measure. This difficulty would remain, even if we 
could separate what is genuine in the Fathers from that which 
is spurious. 

V. If the standard of faith is to be the Bible as interpreted by 
the first two centuries, then the Episcopal authorities are as much 
to be blamed for not fixing- upon the authentic ivritings of these 
two centuries, establishing their canon, and giving them to the 
people, as the popish Prelates are for withholding from the people 
the Bible. Nay, more so ; for on this scheme the " Bible alone" 
as the " only standard faith," is " no sufficient bond of union or 
stability;" nay, it leads to "error, heresies, disunion, and confu- 
sion" without end ! " Miserable people that have not the ultimate 
standard in their hands ; without which the Bible is so insuffi- 
cient and so erring a guide ! Unfaithful prelates that give not 
even a translation; no, nor a poo: abstract, or epitome; no, 
nothing but a poor weak decoction or infusion of the fathers, such 
as happens to be sprinkled, we know not where, upon the pages 
of the Prayer-Book ! The people should either demand that the 
Bible shall be accompanied by the Fathers of the first two centu- 
ries, authentic, unrnutilated, uninterpolated, so that they may 
search the standard of faith for themselves, or they should re- 
nounce the name of Protestants, and be content with the tradi- 
tions of the Fathers, as set forth and interpreted second-hand by 
the traditions of the priests. But what Episcopal layman or 
clergyman pretends that he can accurately fix the canon of the 
Fathers of the first two centuries ? Has Bishop Brownell him- 
self ever read all those interpretations of the first two centuries, 
or can he, for his life, draw the line between the spurious and the 
true ? No well informed man on earth will have the impudence 
to pretend that this can be done. Let us then hear no more 
about Popish abominations. The extravagance of Romish in- 
fallibility is sober reason compared with this specimen of Pro- 
testant Episcopal folly touching the standard of faith.* 

* From this dreary waste of error and absurdity, it is refreshing to turn back to 
the words of good old Bishop Hooper, who sealed his faith in the flames, in the days 
of the Popish Mary. " In the Blessed Virgin's time, the Pharisees and, Bishops were 
accounted the TRUE CHURCH ; yet by reason their doctrine was corrupt, the true Church 
rested not with them, but in Simeon, Zachary, the shepherds, and others. So, Paul 
teaches us that whosoever he be that preaches another doctrine than the Word of 
God, he is not to be accredited though he were an angel from Heaven. * * The 
adversaries of truth defend many a false error under the name of HOLY CHURCH * * 
and when the Church is named, we ought diligently to consider when the 
Articles they would defend were accepted of the Church, by whom, and who was 
the author of them, and not leave the matter till it is brought unto the first original 
and most perfect Church of the Apostles. If you find by their writings that the 
Church used the thing which the preacher would prove, accept it, or else not. Be 
not amazed though they speak of ever so many years ; or name ever so many doc- 
AND MASTERS IN LEARNING. Fear neither the ordinary power or succession of 
bishops, nor that of the greater part. For if either the authority of Bishops or of 
the greater part should have power to interpret the Scriptures; the sentence of the 


VI. What say the Scriptures themselves concerning 1 the ques- 
tion in hand ? "The law of the Lord is PERFECT, converting 
the soul ; the testimony of the Lord is SURE, MAKING WISE THE 
SIMPLE." Thus speaks the Word of God. Oh no ! says the 
man with a surplice and mitre from Rome : not " perfect" nor 
" sure" but mischievous without the infallible interpretations of 
the Church ; the Church can do better by taking the testimony 
of the Lord away. And thereupon the Protestant Bishop of 
Connecticut raises his voice. " The Bible alone !" " The Bible 
without note or comment ! " To the exclusion of all tradition 
and Church authority !" It is no sufficient " bond of union or 
stability !" And thereupon he rings the changes, u Heresies," 
" Infidelity," " Fanaticism." 

But hear again the Word of God : " O how love I thy law ! 
It is my meditation all the day. Thou, through thy command- 
ments, hast made me wiser than mine enemies : for they are 
ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers; 
for thy testimonies are my meditation. 1 have more understanding 
than the ancients (alas, what a heresy this would be in the eyes 
of the Tractarians, if it were not in the Bible ! Bat so it 
cause I keep thy precepts" " THY WORD is a lamp to my feet, 
and a light to my path" 

We had supposed that " The Bible alone " was " the Religion 
of Protestants" We had humbly supposed it a sufficient and 
perfect guide, " given by inspiration of God," that " the man of 
God may be THOROUGHLY FURNISHED" with that which is " able 
to make him wise unto salvation." We had supposed that 
whoever were our teacher, we were still to " search the Scrip- 
tures," " to see whether these things are so." We turn to the 
History of the World ; and though some have " wrested the 
Scriptures to their own destruction," yet the History of the World 
has not shown for any two hundred years, so real and unwaver- 

Pharisees should have been preferred before the sentence of Zacharias, Simeon, 
Elizabeth, or the Blessed Virgin. * * Remember that the gift of interpretation 
of Scripture, is the light of the Holy Ghost given unto the humblest penitent per- 
sons, that seek it only to honor God ; and not unto that person who claims it by 
title or place, because he is a bishop, or followed by succession, Peter or Paul. 
Examine their laws by the Scripture, and then perceive that they are the enemies of 
Christ's Church, and the very Church of Korah. REMEMBER THEREFORE TO EX- 
of the Church, t BELIEVE THAT THE CHURCH is BOUND to no SORT of people or ANY 



The language of Hooper was the common language of the Reformers. Says 
Jewel, " There is. no way so easy to beguile the simple as the name and countenance of ike 
Fathers." ''I see plainly," says Chilli ngworth, "and with mine own eyes, that 
there are popes against popes, councils against councils, some fathers against others ; 
a consent of fathers of one age against the consent of the fathers of another age ; the 
Church of one age against the Church of another age; traditive interpretations of 
Scripture are pretended, but there are few or none to be found. * * In a word, 
there it no sufficiency but of the Scripture only, for any considering man to build upon." 


ing a uniformity in the belief of the simple and fundamental 
doctrines of grace, as has been found among the several denomi- 
nations who receive the Bible alone as the sole and sufficient 
standard of faith and duty. Wilh all their conflicts on minor 
points, there has been in fundamentals, more than anywhere 
else, One Faith, and one Lord. Freedom of thought, and free 
discussion, have caused at times sharp controversy ; error de- 
serves it; truth is worth it : but in ail, the truth has gained. 
Some have apostatised : but the Bible is before them, and no 
superior authority binds their consciences to retain the error. 
Let the vast corruptions of a thousand years ; let the corruptions 
now rising and spreading within the communion paled in and 
fenced by Church interpretations and Church authority, decide, 
whether, within such fences, these apostates would have done any 
better. " There must be heresies," says the Word of God, 
" that they which are approved may be made manifest among 
you." The great mass have remained firm : the more firm from 
the discussions to which these heresies have given rise. " The 
sword of the Spirit " is not the interpretations of the Church, but 
" The Word of God." If you would repress heresy, leave that 
sword unsheathed. A pious prayerful soul may be trusted with 
that ; a wilful heretic will not be put down with a human decree 
or canon. Bind not up the thoughtful inquirer to believe on the 
authority of human interpretations and canons, lest his faith rest 
on the wisdom of man, rather than on the Word of God. Rear 
up fences of forms, interpretations, and decrees ; and you may 
perpetuate your own folly ; you may thrust your wisdom be- 
tween the soul and the authority of God ; you may arrogate to 
yourself the authority of conservator over the understanding of 
future generations, as well as of God's Holy Truth ; but you 
may at the same time perpetuate heresy and darkness, and lay 
the foundations of a spiritual bondage under which your chil- 
dren's children may groan in hopeless misery. But let a conti- 
nent sink in error ; let ten thousand times ten thousand blinded 
priests conspire to hold them in bondage ; yet throw these fences 
down, and send forth one living man with " the Sword of the 
Spirit, which is the Word of God ;" and darkness and super- 
stition will flee before him. That sword of the Spirit which is 
the most powerful to conquer, is most powerful to defend. Give 
us this, and let error take the field ; let Satan come in subtlety 
or in wrath ; and we have wherewithal to quench his fiery darts. 
But remove the faith of the people one step from the Word of 
God, and try to fence it round by human decrees and forms, 
and the incipient apostasy has begun its march ; the mystery^ of 
iniquity is at work ; nothing but the special providence of God 
can prevent Anti-christ from being, in time, fully developed and 
revealed. 17 




Illustrated by the Doctrines of Holy Alliance. Enormities in practice. 
Necessarily a system of usurpation and persecution. Natural rights of 
Christian congregations. Plea of uniformity. The question not of the 
expediency of a Liturgy, but of the right to impose one. Canons of 
American Episcopacy. Limits of Church power. 

ANOTHER fundamental principle which demands discussion, sepa- 
rate from all consideration of Church organization, or modes of 
discipline and worship, is the alleged right to frame Liturgies 
and devise ceremonies for the worship of God;, to forbid Christians 
to celebrate public worship in any other mode ; and to enforce these 
Liturgies and ceremonies by penalties, either civil or ecclesi- 

The importance of this topic will be better appreciated by a 
reference to some instances of parallel usurpations in civil af- 
fairs. Such a reference will show what fundamental principles 
are worth ; and how many seeds of despotism, mischief, and wo, 
may be wrapped up in a seemingly innocent line. 

Those who are old enough to remember the campaign of Bona- 
parte in Russia, will call to mind the famous HOLY ALLIANCE 
formed by several of the crowned heads of Europe. Its object was, 
professedly, the peace and stability of the European nations. " The 
world," says Daniel Webster, " seems to have received this treaty 
upon its first promulgation, with general charity. It was com- 
monly understood, as little or nothing more than an expression 
of thanks for the successful termination of the momentous con- 
test in which these sovereigns had been engaged."* " In the 
name of the Most Holy Trinity," said their manifesto, " their Ma- 
jesties solemnly declare, that the present act has no other object 
than to publish in the face of the w r hole world, their fixed resolu- 
tion, both in the administration of their respective states, and in 
their political relations with every other government, to take for 

* Speech on the Greek Revolution. 


their sole guide the precepts of that Holy Religion namely, the 
precepts of justice, Christian charity, and peace which, far from 
being applicable only to private concerns, must have an imme- 
diate influence on the councils of princes, and guide all their 
steps, as being the only means of consolidating human institu- 
tions, and remedying their imperfections." 

All this appeared vastly well. It is probable that they were 
sincere ; and that Alexander, at least, the great soul of the Alli- 
ance, was actuated by the most beneficent motives. 

This Alliance, then, was made to keep the peace of Europe; 
and to enforce that peace and the observance of the principles of 
justice and Christianity among nations (in the language of Web- 
ster), " by a million and a half of bayonets" 

But now there arose a momentous question : What do these 
princes deem to be " the principles of Christianity and justice," 
with regard to human governments ? Oh ! the Divine Right of 
Kings : and the absolute destitution of all political rights on the 
part of the people ! It was not long before they revealed the 
principles on which their conduct was to be governed. The first 
principle they put forth was in these words : " All popular or con- 
stitutional rights are holden no otherwise than as grants from the 
crown" " Society," says Webster, " upon this principle, has no 
rights of its own : it takes good government when it can get it, 
as a boon and a concession ; but can demand nothing. It is to 
live in that favor which emanates from regal authority ; and if it 
have the misfortune to lose that favor, there is nothing to protect 
it against any degree of injustice and oppression. It can right- 
fully make no endeavor for a change by itself. * * * All its 
duty is described in the single word SUBMISSION." 

The Holy Alliance was not slow to draw the same conclusion. 
In the Laybach Circular, of May, 1821, they declared, " That 
useful and necessary changes in legislation ought to emanate 
from the free will and intelligent conviction of those whom God 
has rendered responsible for power ; and that all that deviate from 
this line, necessarily tend to. disorder, commotions, and evils, far 
more insupportable^ than those which they pretended to remedy" 

On this principle, the English Barons who, six hundred years 
ago, after suffering from the intolerable tyranny of King John, 
sword in hand, wrested the Great Charter from that infamous 
king at Runnimede, were entirely to blame ! If the Holy Alli- 
ance had existed then, it would have put the Barons down. The 
king had a divine right to rule the English ; responsible only to 
God : and they must submissively wait till the tyrant should 
grow kind. 

Our notions of freedom are such as to make the very name 
of charter and liberties, in the English sense, a reproach. Our 


franchises we hold by no kingly charter : nor do we hold these 
as liberties, but as RIGHTS which we will VINDICATE, not ask as 
a favor from any power below that of God. " I need not stop," 
says Webster, " to observe how totally hostile are these doctrines 
of Laybach, to the fundamental principles of our government. 
They are in direct contradiction ; the principles of good and 
evil are hardly more opposite. If these principles of the sove- 
reigns be true, we are but in a state of rebellion, or of anarchy, 
and are only tolerated among civilized states, because it has not 
yet been convenient to conform us to the true standard." 

The Holy Alliance pursued the principle to its legitimate issue. 
They declared that " The Powers" [the Alliance] "have 'an un- 
doubted right to take a hostile attitude in regard to those states 
in which the overthrow of the government may operate as an ex- 

" There cannot," says Webster, " be conceived a more flagrant 
violation of public law, or national independence, than is con- 
tained in this short declaration." * * " No matter what be 
the character of the government resisted ; no matter with what 
weight the foot of the oppressor bears on the neck of the oppress- 
ed ; if he struggle, or if he complain, he sets a dangerous exam- 
ple of resistance ; and from that moment he becomes an object 
of hostility to the most powerful potentates of the earth. Iwant 
words to express my abhorrence of this abominable principle. I 
trust every enlightened man throughout the world will oppose it ; 
and that especially those who, like ourselves, are fortunately out 
of the reach of the bayonets that, enforce it, will proclaim their 
detestation of it both loud and decisive." 

But why this outcry at a mere abstract principle? On that 
principle depends the movement of a million and a half of bay- 
onets; and the question of despotism or freedom throughout the 
globe. That principle soon awoke to vigorous life. The people 
of Spain, worn out with inquisitorial cruelties and grinding op- 
pression, rose in their might, and established a Constitution. The 
bayonets of France, as the instruments of the Alliance, advanced 
across the Pyrenees and put that Constitution down. Greece 
rose against the bloody rule of the Turks. When the revolu- 
tion broke out, the sovereigns were in Congress at Laybach, and 
declared " their abhorrence of those criminal combinations which 
had been formed in the eastern part of Europe" " The practical 
commentary," says Webster, " corresponded with the plain lan- 
guage of the text. Look at Spain. Look at Greece. If men 
may not resist the Spanish Inquisition, and the Turkish Cimetar, 
what is there to which humanity must not submit? Stronger 
cases can never arise." 

The butchery of the Turks was too horrid : nature cried out 


against the doctrine of the Holy Alliance. The genius of Eng- 
land prevailed. The Turkish authority was broken: but mark; 
'The Greeks must not be free ! The republics of Greece re- 
stored in the midst of despotic Europe ! O no : they must have 
a king. A weak, wrong-headed boy, a scion of some legitimate 
succession, must be set to reign over the high-spirited republican 
Greeks ! 

The Holy Alliance turned their thoughts to the insurrectionary 
provinces of South America, and their bayonets would have 
re-established there the authority of Spain : but Great Britain 
would not be a partner in the crime ; the fleets of Britain were 
to be encountered on the sea; and beyond, lay that Young Re- 
public, whose chief magistrate had in his message intimated the 
determination of the people, that on this continent such things 
must not be done. 

The principle of the Holy Alliance reached even to the evil 
example of our Revolution, and of our Republican Institutions: 
nor is there room to question, that not their good will, nor their 
forbearance, but the good hand of God, and the difficulty of the 
undertaking, kept the Holy Alliance from sending their bayonets 
to set up a monarchy in this American land. They did not believe 
that any government established and wielded by the people could 
be VALID. They did not believe that there could lawfully be " A 


So much for a principle. The illustration has been long ; but 
not too long for its importance. 

How does the illustration apply to the case in hand ? The 
Church, alias the Hierarchy, set up a claim, not only to be the 
judge of faith with authority paramount to all rights of private 
judgment; but they claim also a right to frame liturgies, and 
ceremonies, for the worship of God, and to impose the same upon 
all Christians. I say UPON ALL CHRISTIANS. Whoever, being 
within the pale of that Church, presumes to worship God in 
public in any other way, is ecclesiastically punished, or cast out. 
Whatever bodies of Christians presume to worship God, with- 
out submitting to this Hierarchy, and to its liturgies and ceremo- 
nies, they are regarded as wicked schismatics; and with their 
ministers are held up to abhorrence as followers of Korah. In 
this principle, and in this line of conduct, Episcopalians both 
Popish and Protestant, with some honorable exceptions fully 

This principle has been tried on a vast scale, and for a period 
of more than a thousand years. And what has been the result ? 
A despotism a thousand times more iron-handed and bloody 
than that of the Holy Alliance. What mummeries ; what false 
doctrines ; what idolatrous rites ; what prayers to the saints and 


the Virgin ; \^Jiat adoration of images and relics did not the 
Church impose ! What oceans of blood were shed, to which all 
thai has ever been shed by the Holy Alliance has been as a single 
drop ! What thousands of martyrs have perished at the stake ! 
How the snows of the mountains have gleamed with the confla- 
grations of the burning homes of the disciples of Jesus ! How 
the rocks amid the midnight darkness have echoed back their 
screams of agony ! What tales of suffering have the prisons to 
declare ! What secrets of horror have the vaults of the Inquisi- 
tion to reveal! How long and how dreary the darkness that 
brooded over the face of the entire Christian world ! 

Were these the doings of Rome? They were the legitimate 
results of the PRINCIPLE that the Church has authority to ordain 
Liturgies and ceremonies for the worship of God, and to require 
the people to submit to the same. Is this the principle exclusively 
of Rome ? Our fathers fled from the cruelties of the same princi- 
ple inflicted upon them by Protestant hands. Some of them were 
compelled by Protestant hands to drink the cup of martyrdom. 
Some were spoiled of their goods. Some were pilloried, mutilated, 
scourged. Multitudes perished in prison, of starvation and cold. 
Read the sufferings of the Scotch Covenanters under the persecu- 
tions and dragoonings of the licentious and bloody Charles II. 
They were hanged on the gallows, tied to the stake at low water 
and drowned by the rising tide ; shot down in the fields, or on the 
green grass before their own fire-sides ; hunted in the morasses 
and glens ; and their bodies left unburied to be devoured by the 
birds of prey.* These things were done by Protestant High- 
Churchmen, and since the last of them, one hundred and sixty 
years have not yet passed away ! From that day to this, the 
same ruthless principle has borne upon all who have scrupled to 
receive Liturgies and rituals ; in disabilities, vexatious oppres- 
sions, and in every form of severity that the period of the world 
would endure. Why, we are told even in this American land, 
that not only has the Church authority to impose these things, 
but that without these imposed Liturgies and rituals, the 
fold of Jesus is an " unfenced field" Prelates tell us that it 
will not do for the people and their ministers to be trusted with 
freedom in the worship of God ! Oh, no ! liberty in this matter 
is a dangerous possession to the people; the Prelates can 
manage to keep it better ! These canons, saints' days, angels' 
days, Liturgies and rituals, are very useful ! A liberty to wor- 
ship God without them is very pernicious, and therefore the 

* " It is supposed that Popery has put to death fifteen millions of persons for 
truth's sake. * * In the years 1684 and 1685, EIGHTY PERSONS were shot in the 
fields in cold blood in Scotland." (Traditions of the Covenanters, p. 170.) This was 
an inconsiderable item in the account of the murders perpetrated by the Protestant 
High- Churchmen in Scotland. 


Church as a good mother has taken that liberty away ! And 
thereupon Bishops give charges, and presbyters preach sermons, 
to show what schisms, heresies, errors, fanaticisms, spring up for 
the want of these very valuable and holy fences to restrain the 
very dangerous liberty of people to worship God ; saying less or 
more than the Liturgy prescribes ! Just so Rome talks about the 
pernicious results of allowing the people liberty to read the Bible 
for themselves. 

Do you not see the principle ol the Holy Alliance still ? De- 
spotic Austria comforts her good people by telling them of the 
horrors of liberty. She points to the strife of political parties in 
these United States, to show how dangerous it is for people to 
be allowed to choose their own rulers, and how ineffably superior 
is the Divine Right of Kings to the freedom of the people ! nay, 
she shows them by conclusive arguments that absolute despotism 
is the only possible freedom ! She points to these unhappy States 
as a demonstration of the mischiefs of popular discussion, of a 
free-press, and of popular rights ; and then points to the repose, 
stability, and uniformity of a despotic government. Blessed 
Austria ! No popular rights to create disturbances ! No popu- 
lar discussions of political subjects ! No popular elections ! A 
good censorship of the press, and a close espionage over every 
man's lips, to "fence " out error I Blessed Austria ! whose 
people are trained to regard with silent horror this miserable, wild, 
unhappy democracy this State without a king, across the 
waters ! 

Now, I pray you, whither tends all the talk, that this commu- 
nity has of late heard, about the benefit of ecclesiastical " fences," 
and all this outcry about heresies and schisms for the want of 
liturgies and of a better standard of faith than the Bible ; whither 
tend all these harangues, but to show, after the example of Aus- 
tria and the Holy Alliance, the mischiefs of liberty, and the bene- 
fit of despotism in Church as well as in State ? Granting that 
all these cries of heresies were true (as they are not, but false), 
as to the main drift of these allegations (since heresies prevail 
far more within the fences of liturgies and rituals than without 
them ; and discussion in the Episcopal fold, is, or ought to be 
as earnest as anywhere else) : granting that all these allegations 
were true still despotism is not the remedy. If it were, even 
Protestant Prelatists might return with some advantage to Rome. 
Prince Metternich may persuade the Austrians that they live un- 
der a more blessed government than that of the United States ; 
and so the prelates may persuade their people, that prelates and 
priests can do much better for them by taking their religious 
liberties away ; but we trust that such doctrines can never be so 
sweetened and smoothed as to make them extensively palatable 


to the sons of the Pilgrims, or to the descendants of the Patriots 
of Seventy-Six. 

Will it be said that the Episcopal Church, in these United States, 
neither professes nor claims the power to enforce her canons, 
liturgies and forms by civil penalties ? 

She nevertheless does enforce them by all the penalties within 
her power. She claims a right to rule all the disciples of Christ 
within this territory ; and declares, and treats, all who do not 
submit, as guilty schismatics. She claims it as the duty of all 
Christians to forsake every other Church, and to cleave only to 
her, as the only true Church ; out of which there are no cove- 
nanted mercies of God. She then cuts off every minister, every 
man, and every congregation, that does not submit to these man- 
made and man-imposed liturgies, rituals, and decrees. What is 
this but usurpation and persecution ? 

If it is our duty to belong to a particular Church, then that duty 
involves a right to enter it and remain there, in the enjoyment of 
all the franchises wherewith Christ has made his people free. 
He who curtails those franchises is a usurper. He who puts up 
a single bar which Christ has not put up, or which Christ has 
not authorized him to put up, is a usurper. If Christ has not 
enjoined ceremonies, rituals, or liturgies, then any congregation 
of Christ 1 s people has an indefeasible right to worship him without; 
and he who shuts another out of the Church or the ministry be- 
cause that other cannot in conscience, or according to his sense 
of propriety, observe the ceremonies and liturgies which man has 
made to prescribe and limit the worship of God, is both an 


THE PREROGATIVES OF GOD. The so styled Church, which claims 
authority over a nation or a province (even admitting, as we do 
not, that its entire authority is not usurped), has no more right to 
impose upon the several congregations a Liturgy, than it has to 
impose a set form of sermons, and to forbid any other sermon or 
exhortation. Nay, for a book of sermons a better pretence might 
be made, viz. the necessity of guarding the doctrines of the 
Church. The so styled " Church," of a nation or province 
(which we deny to be any Church at all, in its national or pro- 
vincial organization or authority), has no more right to require, 
of the several congregations, the ceremony of kneeling at the sa- 
crament, than it has to require them to celebrate Mass ; it has no 
more right to require the observance of Lent, or Saints' days, 
than it has to require them to fast on Fridays ; no more right to 
silence a minister or to exclude a member for refusing to obey 
such canons, than it has to cut off their heads. He who cuts me 
off from the franchises with which Christ has endowed me, he 
who forbids me to worship God in public without the use of a 


prescribed Liturgy, hinders and obstructs me from discharging 
the duties which Christ has commanded me. It matters not 
whether it is some " Diotrephes " who " loveth to have the pre- 
eminence," that has done it, u casting them out of the Church ;" 
or whether some Hierarchy, or clique, who have seen fit to im- 
pose, what neither Christ nor his Apostles enjoined for the worship 
of God ; arid who take it upon them to cast Christ's people out 
of his Church, because they will not obey these man-made de- 
crees ; they are usurpers, schismatics, and persecutors. 

But it is said that liturgies and prescribed rituals are necessary 
FOR SECURING UNIFORMITY. Did Christ require all congregations 
to observe an exact uniformity, in every word and ritual, when 
assembled for the worship of God ? The colors of the rainbow 
are not all alike. The beautiful flowers, and trees, and land- 
scapes, are not all alike. The rivers and valleys are not all alike. 
The minds and tastes of men are not all alike ; their circumstances 
and wants are not all alike ; the times in which they live are not 
all alike ; that prayers and praises may be stinted and limited to 
suit the character, circumstances, and wants of all alike. Besides, 
the Liturgy of England is not uniform with that of Rome, or with 
any other Liturgy. If it were so, uniformity is not unity. 

It is not the right, or the expediency of using a Liturgy, which 
here comes into question ; but the right to enforce a Liturgy, on 
congregations of Christians who do not choose it. Nor would 
the question be the same, if the Liturgy were enforced only upon 
those who choose to unite with the communion to which a Lit- 
urgy is prescribed; while others should be allowed to worship 
elsewhere as they please. The Episcopal Church makes not this 
allowance; it claims to be " THE CHURCH," with RIGHT TO RULE 
OVER ALL : it treats all others as schismatics out of the pale of 
the covenanted mercies of God. And holding forth these exclu- 
sive claims, it writes this its FORTY-FIFTH CANON, for the due ob- 
servance of all Christians who shall attempt to worship God : 
" Every minister shall, before all sermons and lectures, and on all 
other occasions of public worship, use the Book of Common Prayer, 
as the same is or may be established by the authority of. the General 
Convention of this Church. And in performing said service, no 
other prayers shall be used than those prescribed by said book." 
On this canon, Dr. Hawkes remarks, that some of the clergy 
" have felt themselves at liberty, after the sermon, to make an ex- 
temporary prayer. Very few, however," he adds, " it is be- 
lieved, have done so." He gives it as his opinion, that such a 
practice is not in accordance with the canon : " as its purpose 
was, on all occasions of public worship, to render OBLIGATORY 
the use of a rescript form of prayer :" which rescript he con- 
siders as obligatory " after the sermon as before."* 

* Constitution and Canons of Episcopal Church, p 377. 



Now, to my mind, such a Marion is a horrible usurpation and 
tyranny, to which no Christian should ever submit. What ! for 
such a man as the venerated Dr. Milnor, or Leigh Richmond, in 
the habit of praying without book, and entirely capable of pour- 
ing out his soul in warm, living language ; for such a man, under 
circumstances of peculiar interest, or of great and startling emer- 
gency ; or after a sermon, when sinners are awakened, and in 
tears, to be told, No, you must not offer an extemporary 
prayer ; the canon forbids it ! You shall be liable never to be 
allowed to preach the Gospel more, if you transgress the canon ! 
For such a man, and for the congregation, too, while the spirit 
within him is groaning for utterance, to be limited to a rescript, 
form aif general Collect, of no adaptedness to the occasion ! What 
is it but the grossest tyrannyl an insult to God ! an outrage upon 
the dearest rights of man ! How nearly it savors of the proceeding 
of Darius the king, when, at the instigation of the presidents, 
governors, and princes, he made a " Decree that whosoever should 
ask a petition of any God or man, save of the king, for thirty 
days, should be cast into the den of lions." What right has the 
Church to prescribe prayers more than sermons ? Why might 
she not, with the same propriety, prescribe a sermon-book ; and 
decree by canon, that if any warm-hearted minister should pre- 
sume to venture an exhortation, not prescribed in the book, be 
should be cast out of the Church, or silenced, according to the 
canon ? 

How often is the Prayer-Book lean and barren, when com- 
pared with the occasion ? I remember one gloomy Sabbath 
morning during the last war with Great Britain, when every man 
capable of bearing arms was summoned from my native village 
to meet the invading foe ; how desolate the Sanctuary seemed 
when none but the aged, the women, and the children were 
there ; what tears were shed ; what stifled sobs were heard, 
when the minister poured forth his prayer adapted to the dangers 
of their loved ones, and to the sorrows and fears of those who 
remained. I remember hearing the people in a town on the 
shores of Lake Champlain, near the northern line of Vermont, 
tell, how on the 14th of September, 1814 when nearly all 
their men were gone across the lake to meet the overwhelming 
force of the enemy, who were only waiting the coming up of 
the fleet, to begin the combat ; on the morning of that Sabbath, 
the British fleet was descried sweeping by ; and as the bell was 
tolling for public worship, the roar of the battle began ; they 
saw the smoke ; they heard the distant thunder ; their husbands 
and fathers and brothers were there. The man of God entered 
with a firm step into the place of worship, and without taking 
his seat, or a moment's pause lifted up his hands and said, LET 


us PRAY. Nor while that combat raged, did he cease to pray . 
nor the anxious congregation to mingle their tears and sobbings 
with their prayers. O, for the Church to come in with its canons 
at such a time : and say to the man of God, Here, take the book ; 
the Church forbids you to call upon God, save only in this re- 
script form! WJio is the Church, that comes thus to interfere 
with individual ministers and congregations ; and to stand be- 
tween their souls and the Throne, when they assemble to wor- 
ship God ? But this inquiry belongs to another place, in which 
we trust it will appear that Christ has left no such authority no 
such " Church " on earth, as the authority by which these canons 
and liturgies are framed and imposed. 

But supposing, as we do at present for the argument's sake, that 
what claims to be " The Church " is such in reality, and may 
rightfully exercise ecclesiastical powers : even on this supposition, 
Christ has given no power of prescribing liturgies and ceremo- 
nies for the worship of God, to any human authority. The 
commission to the Apostles was (and surely none may go be- 
yond this) " Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever 1 
have commanded you" No Church authority, therefore, may go 
beyond, and charge upon the conscience, or lay an incumbrance 
upon the worship of God, beyond what Christ has commanded. 
John Cotton has well remarked on this passage, " if the Apostles 
teach people to observe more than Christ has commanded, they 
go beyond their commission ; and a larger commission than that 
given to the Apostles, nor Elders, nor Synods, nor Churches can 

But it is said that the Church has authority to order IN THINGS 
INDIFFERENT. Who is to judge whether the thing imposed be 
indifferent? Does the Church then judge a liturgy to be indiffer- 
ent ? Sponsors in baptism ; and other things which she pre- 
scribes for the worship of God, and for the Sacraments ; -does 
she judge these all indifferent? Under this notion of indiffer- 
ence were brought in all the mummeries of Rome; and Rome, 
as well as the English Church, judged that she had a right to 
overrule all scruples of conscience, as to what things were, or 
were not indifferent. 

But imposing things indifferent is more than Apostles durst 
do ; for when certain from Judea told the disciples of Antioch 
that they must be circumcised, and advice was asked of the 
Church at Jerusalem with the Apostles and elders ; these having 
the Holy Ghost, concluded to lay upon them no greater burden 
than some "NECESSARY things" Who now may go beyond, 
and impose things unnecessary, i. e. things indifferent ? " What 
charter" says Stillingfleet, " has Christ given the Church, to bind 
men up to more than himself hath done ? or to exclude those from 


her society, who may be admitted to heaven. Will Christ ever 
thank men, at the great day, for keeping such out from commu- 
nion with his Church, to whom he will vouchsafe (not only) 
crowns of glory ; but it may be aureolce, golden too, if there be 
any such there ?" " The grand commission with which the 
Apostles were sent out, was only to teach what Christ had com- 
manded them. Not the least intimation of any power given 
them to impose anything beyond what he himself had spoken 
to them, or they were directed by the immediate guidance of the 
Spirit of God," " There were diversities of practice and vari- 
eties of observances among Christians ; but the Holy Ghost 
never thought those things ought to be made matters of laws/' 
* * " The Apostles valued not indifferences at all," 
"and what reason is there why men should be so strictly tied up 
to such things, which they may do, or let alone, and yet be very 
good Christians still ?" * * * " Without all controversy, the 
main inlet of all the distractions, confusions, and divisions of the 
Christian world, hath been by adding other conditions of Church 
communion than Christ hath done." * * * " Would there 
even be less peace and unity in a Church, if a diversity were 
allowed as to practices supposed indifferent? Yea, there would 
be so much more as there was a mutual forbearance and conde- 
scension as to such things. The unity of a Church is a unity 
of love, and of doctrine, not a BARE UNIFORMITY of practice , or of 

The remarks of Owen on this question are also in point. 
" Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have com- 
manded you Havro oaa. The commission goes no further. 
Let the Liturgy be tried by this rule ; and I cannot but admire, 
with what peace and satisfaction to their own souls, men can 
pretend to act as by commission from Christ, as the chief adminis- 
trators of his government and worship on earth, and make it 
their whole business almost, TO TEACH MEN TO DO AND OBSERVE 
WHAT HE NEVER COMMANDED; and rigorously to inquire after 
and into their own commands, whilst those of the Lord Jesus 
are openly neglected." 

But it is alleged that the Scripture says " Let all things be 
done decently and in order" This only forbids things disorderly 
and indecent in the worship of God. Within the wide range of 
what is orderly and decent, it leaves people entirely free. It can 
give no authority to impose a Liturgy, till it is first decided that 
to worship God without a Liturgy is' disorderly and indecent, 
and subversive of the ends of worship. The remarks o.f John 
Cotton on this point are to the point and conclusive. " Suppose 
the Church of Corinth (or any other Church or Synod) should 
enjoin upon their ministers to preach in a gown. A gown is a 


decent garment to preach in, yet such an injunction is not ground- 
ed upon that text of the Apostle ; for then a minister neglecting 
to preach in a gown would neglect the commandments of the 
Apostle, which indeed he doth not. For if he preach in a cloak 
he preacheth decently enough, and. that is all which the Apostle's 
canon reacheth." 

The DUTY of worshipping God involves the RIGHT to worship 
him according to our own conscience and His holy Word. It 
frees us from all Liturgies and ceremonies imposed by man. In 
imposing such things by all the penalties within her power, and 
in debarring all who will not use these Liturgies and ceremo- 
nies, from the common privileges of Christianity, the Episcopal 
Church, as well as the Roman, while she claims to be exclusively 
" THE CHURCH,'' is, according to her ability, a great persecutor 
and a schismatic. She has usurped Christ's prerogatives, and 
his people's rights ; she hinders and forbids Christ's people 
from a free and conscientious discharge of the duties required of 
them. If they will not submit to her usurpations, she will, as 
much as in her lies, debar them from all Church. privileges and 
ordinances, and deny them all participation in the public worship 
of God. 

Ought there to be a doubt that this part of her settled policy 
and law, is a criminal usurpation, which no Christian should 
either submit to or abet -a course of policy and law, which that 
Church is bound forthwith to reform, and for whose past 
enormities she ought to humble herself in deep repentance 1 To 
deny men their civil rights is something ; to plunder men of their 
property by highway robbery is something; but to usurp the rights 
of conscience in the matter of worshipping God, and in such a 
matter to "frame iniquity by law," is an outrage which ought 
no longer to be perpetrated by anything that claims to be The 
Church of Christ. 



Examination of the grounds on which the Puritan Churches are charged 
as schismatical. The Prelatical Doctrine of Schism tested by Scrip- 
ture. Singular scheme for restoring a visible Unity. Scriptural view of 

A GREAT outcry is made about the SIN OF SCHISM. Our Puri- 
tan Fathers, and all who worship God, save in the forms and 
under the authority of Prelacy, are denounced as SCHISMATICS. 

The grounds on which these charges are made, are various 
our accusers not appearing to have well digested the principles on 
which they would determine in what the sin consists ; and, for 
that reason, laying down now one basis, and now another ; con- 
sistent with themselves in nothing, save that in all shifting and 
changes, they keep still upon ground which would hand over 
the whole Christian world to despotism and darkness. 

What is that guilty schism which is charged upon us ? If you 
inquire of the books and missals in which that charge is so cur- 
rently made, you will find its essence to consist in one of these 
three particulars : 

1. The breaking 1 away of any body of Christians from the 
customs, or rule, of the Catholic, or Universal Church : 

2. Worshiping 1 ' God in public, or socially, without conformity to 
the Liturgy, or rituals of the National Church : or, 

3. Departing- from the authority of the Diocesan Bishop of the 
particular territory : or in not maintaining communion with, and 
subjection to, some Prelate of the Apostolical succession. 

With regard to the FIRST of these grounds, we answer (1.) That 
if Schism consists in breaking away from the AUTHORITY of the so 
called Universal or Catholic Church viz. the authority of a 
Catholic organization, having an earthly head, or bearing earthly 
rule over all Christians ; then neither we nor our Episcopal breth- 
ren recognize any such organization or authority. The New 
Testament knows nothing of it Nobody claims it, save Anti- 


(2.) If Schism consists in want of conformity to the customs 
liturgies, ceremonies, observances of the UNIVERSAL CHURCH ; 
then we answer that there are no such universal customs 
from which we have broken away. The liturgy of those who 
particularly make the charge upon us, differs from every other 
liturgy on earth, and from that of any other Church that ever ex- 
isted. Its ceremonials do the same. Its doctrines differ funda- 
mentally from those of the Roman, and Greek, and Armenian 
Churches. Between its written prayers and our extempore 
prayers, and worship, there is, in the main, a happy agreement, in 
spirit and substance ; while the difference between both and 
many of those of Rome, is heaven-wide. But we are not 
bound at all to inquire what are the customs, ceremonies, liturgies, 
or doctrines of the Universal Church : but only what is required 
in the Word of God. It is no schism for any congregation of 
Christians, to cast off entirely all forms, and doctrines, and ordi- 
nances, which rest merely in the " commandments of men." 
In so doing, they break none of Christ's laws, and infringe not 
upon any of his people's rights. It is no schism, no breach of 
fellowship, or of charity. They who take offence at this ; who 
deny these franchises ; who would impose human rituals and 
ordinances ; and then denounce and punish those as schismatics 
who do not obey^-they are the schismatics. 

What is true of all congregations of Christ's people every- 
where, is more apparently and undeniably so in ours. Our Fa- 
thers came acknowledged members of Christ's Church, and their 
ministers acknowledged as lawfully ordained ministers into a 
wilderness, three thousand miles away from any part of Christ's 
Church, that could even pretend to any jurisdiction over them. 
They took Christ's word: and whatever He ordained, that they 
acknowledged. Whatever ceremonies and ordinances were 
simply of man's invention, those they threw entirely aside. Was 
it schism to do so ? And now there come men into the midst of 
these Churches, and call us dissenters and schismatics ! They 
say it is a heinous sin for any Christian to worship with us !* that 
our Churches are no Churches ! that our ministers are followers 
of Korah, Dathan and Abiram ! and that none who hold with 
us, have any part in the covenanted mercies of God ! 

But if our Fathers were bound to follow the customs of the 
Catholic Church ; then, what customs, or the customs of what part 
of it, should they have followed ? Those of England ? Then the 
emigrants to Mexico and South America must follow those of 

* See Chapin's Reasons for not joining in sectarian worship. Yet in that work, 
the author makes this remarkable concession : " If we" [Episcopalians] " have no more 
Scripture ivarrant than other denominations, we" '[Episcopalians] "ARE GUILTY OF 
SCHISM. They were here first; they are more in numbers ; and if they are equally right, 
it is sin for us to separate from then*.." P. 16. 


Spain: the emigrants to Canada must follow those of France: 
the mingled emigrants to these United States of later years, must 
follow the customs of their respective countries : and here is a 
beautiful specimen of Unity in Catholic customs! On this ground, 
why has England sent her Protestant Bishops and Liturgy into 
Popish Ireland ? Why did she send them to Popish Canada ? 

The first alleged ground of schism is an absurdity. 

2. Does Schism consist in worshipping God publicly or so- 
cially, without conforming to the Liturgy or rituals of the NA- 

The National Church ? Then what constitutes schism in these 
United States ? The National Church ! The authority of that 
Church was as valid under the Bloody Mary as in the days of 
Elizabeth ; and Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley and the other English 
martyrs were schismatics, for not conforming themselves to the 
canons, rituals and liturgy of the National Church. If such a 
Church may exist and have authority, then the Church of Spain 
or of France is endowed with righteous authority, equally with 
that of England. A National Church ? A National organiza- 
tion with power to decree rites, liturgies and canons for a nation ! 
Where is its model or warrant in the New Testament ? What 
are its prerogatives and powers ? What are its officers ; and 
where in the New Testament is the record of their appointment? 
Where is the charier of their authority ? A National Church ! 
There is no such thing, having any authority that a Christian 
may acknowledge. It is all a usurpation. It is no schism to 
regard such canons, traditions, ceremonies, and imposed liturgies 
as a nullity. No Schism ? Nay, they who submit to its decrees 
are abettors of a conspiracy against the rights of Christ's people ; 
and of treason against the only Lawgiver and Head of the Church. 
They who attempt to enforce the requirements of such a pre- 
tended Church upon Christ's people, make war upon the liber- 
ties and order of Christ's kingdom. These are they who rend 
the seamless mantle of Christ; and who, in the pride and arro- 
gance of assumed power, seem determined to rule or ruin the 
Church of the living God.* 

* Chapin, in his " Primitive Church," has a chapter entitled " THE ENGLISH 
REFORMATION CANONICAL." It would have been more to the point to show, 
(with regard to the authority that effected it) that it was scriptural. Canonical! 
Queen Mary too made a " Canonical" reformation when she carried the reformation 
back to Rome. " The English Reformation Canonical !" The very implication of 
such a title condemns the reformation in Germany as a wicked schism. This is 
indeed the drift of his argument. So Dr. Jarvis, in his late Tract, " No Union 
with Rome," gravely argues that it was lawful for the " British Church" to recover 
her original customs and privileges." He says he is " prepared, and if proper encour- 
agement is given, he will hereafter proceed to show that * ** the of Britain 
was one of those countries, which in the language of the Canonists was autocepha- 
lous j i e., held in itself an inherent jurisdiction independent of any foreign power." 
" And if such was the fact it would be absurd to maintain that the United States, a 


3. The third ground on which we are charged as schismatics 
is, that schism consists in departing from the authority of the 
maintaining communion with, and subjection to, SOME PRE- 

We hold that the very existence of a Diocesan Bishop was 
unknown to the original Church ; and that his power and office 
is an entire usurpation, and that the so-called " Apostolical suc- 
cession" is false and Popish in principle, and false in fact. 
These things we shall endeavor to show in the proper place. If 
these, views are correct, then Diocesan Bishops and their adherents 
are the schismatics ; not those who reject their usurped authority. 
But for the present, let us examine the prelatical doctrine of 
schism upon its own grounds. The principle which now comes 
into question is, that a departure from the Diocesan Bishop is to 
be guilty of the sin of schism. Reforms must begin with the 
Bishop ; those who do not stand by the Bishop wherever he 
stands, and follow him whithersoever he goes ; or certainly, 
they who separate from him, are wicked schismatics. Here is the 
doctrine of the Holy Alliance over again : all needful reforms 
must come from the sovereign i. e. in this case, from the lord 
over God's heritage. The people have no rights or duties, save 
that of submission to the Bishop. On this principle the Wiek- 
liffites, the Hussites, the Albigenses, and Waldenses were 
wicked schismatics : Luther was but a wicked schismatic de- 
parting from his Bishop, and even calling in question his very 

country not known when the Patriarchate of the West was- conceded to the Bishop 
of Rome, and colonized by Britain after she had recovered her independence, can, 
of right, become a dependent on the Roman see." 

What an exhibition of folly and superstition ! Does the right of the British 
Church to reform itself, depend upon what records Dr. Jarvis or some other man may 
dig up from dust and worms, to prove that Britain was originally autocephalous ? 
Will Dr. Jarvis join in that issue with Rome ? And if the proof fails, will he concede a 
right to Rome once more to- sway the sceptre over England ? Is this the last hope of 
warding off from these United States the calamity of being conceded "o/ngto" a 
dependency of the Roman see ? Why, to enter at all upon this argument, is to CON- 
CEDE, that all countries which began their Christian career under the auspices of 
Rome, must for ever remain under her dominion. Dr. Jarvis is "prepared" and if 
' suitable encouragement is given," he " will proceed to show" what ? Why, this 
forsooth ; he will show by learned researches in history about the Patriarchate of the 
West, and its date; by documentary proofs so voluminous, that encouragement is 
needed to pay the printer ! that these United States are not " of right" a dependency 
of " the Roman see !" 

But let not the good Protestants of the United States be alarmed. The ques- 
tion is only between the Protestant Prelates and the Papist, as to which has 
the exclusive right to lord it over this domain. When they are through with their 
documentary proofs, and with their "endless genealogies" of " the succession;" 
whether England was ever Autocephalous or not, we apprehend that either party, if vic- 
torious, will have to enter upon another argument with the PEOPLE. We do not by 
any means concede, that if Protestant prelates do not rule us, the Popish must. We 
care not at all how that dispute, about the autocephalousness of England, is decided 
between Dr. Jarvis and the Pope. 



authority. The disciples of Christ who perished in the dun- 
geons of the Inquisition, were schismatics ; those who met in secret 
to worship God under the reign of Bloody Mary, were wicked 
schismatics ; and the same was true of all the martyrs who perished 
at the stake. This principle delivers the world over to a despotism 
as dark and hopeless as any under which human nature ever groan- 
ed. A reformation under such a principle is a hopeless impossibil- 
ity. Never, in the history of the world, did a reformation begin 
with prelatical bishops : Never. The reformation had struggled in 
England among the common people, from the days of Wickliffe.* 
From the midst of persecutions and dungeons, the light fled 
from England to the continent ; and there John Huss and Je- 
rome of Prague had suffered burning. The remains of that 
persecuted and crushed reformation were yet lingering in Eng- 
land, when the light once more broke in from Saxony. Even 
then, it was not the canonical movement of the Bishops that com- 
menced and carried on the Reformation ; but God overruled the 
lust and wickedness of one of the vilest monsters that ever filled 

* It was on the ground that the English people kept with the Bishops, that Mr. Cha- 
pin styles the English Reformation canonical. On the same ground, Bishop Brow- 
nell declares in his charge, how happy it would have been, " When the Dignitaries 
of the Continental Churches refused to unite in the Holy work of the Reformation * * 
* * if a continuance of the ministerial succession had been sought from the English 
Church;" at all events, they should have had the grace to keep by some Bishop. 
Would that have been canonical ? Bishop Brownell, here, would allow private judg- 
ment to determine upon the orthodoxy of the Bishops ; when he will not trust pri- 
vate judgment with the Word of God ! He here admits the right of the people, in 
one diocese, to renounce their own Bishop, and attach themselves to another ; and 
that on the ground of their own private judgment. Is that canonical; or is it 
schism ? The principles of Bishop Brownell, and of Mr. Chapin, would not fail, 
on their own principles, to fill the " Catholic Church" with confusion and divi- 
sions without end. Besides, that principle is heresy on their own ground ; being 
condemned by the fathers, and that too, by one of the first two centuries : as we shall 
presently see. 

There is a further inquiry with regard to this " Canonical Reformation." Is it 
canonical for the- civil power to depose one set of Bishops, and to set up others ? 
Our Canonists may take which horn of the dilemma they will. The deprivation 
of the Popish Bishops under Queen Elizabeth was either lawful or unlawful. 
At that time, Bishop Kitchen alone consented to the Reformation ; and all others 
were deposed. If their deprivation was lawful ; then any apostolical acts which 
these Popish Bishops might afterwards perform in England, were null and void. 
The priests whom they should ordain, would be no priests ; and their acts a nullity. 
Also, if the deprivation of these Bishops was lawful, then was the deprivation of 
the Protestant Bishops, in the time of Queen Mary, also lawful being performed in, 
the same way, and by the same authority. If so, then the consecration of Arch- 
bishop Parker by these deprived Bishops (Coverdale, the only " conducting" link, 
was never restored) was unlawful; and all the present ordinations of England and 
of the United States are unlawful, and null, and void ! This is one horn of the di- 
lemma. But if the deprivation of the Popish Bishops by Queen Elizabeth was 
unlawful ; then the Reformation was not canonical, but a wicked schism ! The 
ordination of Archbishop Parker, by deprived Bishops, was unlawful, and all the 
ordinations of the usurping Bishops, and of all that follow them down through 
time, are unlawful and null, and void. On their own ground, our High Church 
Episcopalians are cut off from "the covenanted mercy of God ;" their first duty, 
and their only hope is, to make the best of their way back to Rome. 


a throne, to break through all canons ; and to chain the prelates 
to his revolutionary car. It was the throne and the Parliament 
that finally unthrottled the hands of the prelates from the neck 
of truth and freedom gasping for life ; that deposed some, and 
set up others; and in a way contrary to all canons, carried on the 
Reformation by the weight of the civil arm. Had any of the 
crowned heads on the continent been laid under similar induce- 
ments, there might have been reforming Bishops on the continent ; 
provided those sovereigns had wielded the sceptre with as vigor- 
ous a hand as the English Henry. Otherwise, like kings and em- 
perors before them, they might have been glad to wait before the 
gates of the sovereign Pontiff, barefoot, and in a shirt of hair, 
through a winter's night, glad to be admitted to kiss his toe in the 
morning. A Reformation canonical, in the sense of waiting for 
the Bishops, and of not moving without them. Never. Human 
nature is too fond of power ; and the possession of such unearth- 
ly power is too corrupting for a reformation ever to begin with 
Prelates. And yet it is schism to depart from Diocesan Bishops ! 
Thus Bishop Hobart, in his " Companion for the Altar," says, 
" Let it be thy supreme care, O my soul, to receive the blessed 
sacrament of the body and blood of the Saviour, only from the 
hands of those who derive their authority by regular transmission 
from Christ." * * * " Where the Gospel is proclaimed, com- 
munion with the Church by the participation of its ordinances 
at the hands of the duly authorized priesthood is THE INDISPEN- 

Now were it not that the Fathers of the second and third cen- 
turies speak of parish Bishops and not of Diocesans, this dogma 
might be substantiated from the Fathers ; though, as we shall see, 
it is contrary to the Bible. Thus : Irenoeus says, " Wheresoever 
the Bishop shall appear, there also let the people be" That is, 
if this can apply to Diocesans let the people be with Bonner 
when he is bishop : when Latimer is in the chair, let them go 
with Latimer ; at another time, let them go with Laud. Let 
them believe one Gospel with Bishop Mcllvaine, and another 
Gospel with Bishop Doane and the Pope. The same Father says, 
*' See that ye follow your Bishop, even as God the Father" Ig- 
natius says, " We ought to look upon the Bishop as we would look 

* The Bishop afterwards attempted to extricate himself from this position, by 
saying thatbj r ''indispensable condition" he did not mean that God might not dis- 
pense with it in cases of "ignorance, invincible prejudice, imperfect reasoning, &c., 
but that man might not dispense with it." What is this but preaching to every 
man, Episcopacy or Perdition ? you may not dispense with Episcopacy, and have any 
warrant on Gospel grounds or offers, that you shall be saved. Rev. Mr. Bristed, 
a thorough Episcopalian, but a Low Churchman, makes this just remark. "The 
doctrine of High Churchmen is, that all Non-Episcopalians are in the broad road 
to perdition ; their watchword is, Episcopacy or damnation * * * as if such 
a dogma were not the very essence of Popery." 


upon the Lord himself;" and again, " subject to your Bishop 
as to the command of God;" and again, " Hearken unto the 
Bishop, that God may hearken unto you. My soul be security for 
them that submit to their Bishop" The Oxford Tractarians 
add their testimony on this point, thus: Tract No. 5. " The 
Bishop is the shepherd of our souls while Christ is away ;" and 
Tract No. 10. " Be as sure that the Bishop is Christ's appointed 
REPRESENTATIVE, as if we actually saw upon his head a cloven 
tongue like as of fire :" and again ; " The Bishop rules the whole 
Church here below, as Christ rules it above :" and again ; " Christ 
the true mediator above; the Bishop his earthly likeness" 

Such is the doctrine of Prelacy ; but hear the doctrine of the 
Bible. It was a true Apostle, and no pretended successor, who 
said, " Be ye followers of me, EVEN AS I AM OF CHRIST." No 
further than this must we follow even an Apostle ; no, nor even 
an angel. " Though WE or an ANGEL FROM HEAVEN PREACH 
ANY OTHER GOSPEL UNTO YOU than that which we have preached 
unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now 
again ; If ANY MAN preach any other Gospel unto you than that 
ye have received, let him be accursed ;" no matter what his suc- 
cessional pedigree; no matter what his office; if you leave 
Christ's Gospel to follow such a Bishop, you leave Christ, and 
are a traitor to his truth and kingdom. Even though the 
authority of a Bishop were ever so lawful, it is as it was in the 
case of the traitor Benedict Arnold, in the days of the American 
Revolution ; his office was valid, his officers and soldiers owed 
him a military obedience, but the moment they discovered his 
treason against the supreme power which gave him his commis- 
sion, that moment they were bound to leave him. To follow him 
then would make them partakers of his treason. 

The prelatical doctrine of schism turns away from the great 
principles and design of Christianity, or rather it lays Christianity 
itself on the allar a sacrifice to Prelacy. It makes an outward 
organization the main end of religion ; it sacrifices God's truth, 
and human freedom, and conscience, to the great end of exalting 
the hierarchy. It makes Christ's kingdom emphatically of this 
world. It puts Christ's laws and people beneath the feet of the. 
Prelates. In one word, it is Anti-Christian ; a part of the " mys- 
tery of iniquity ;" one of the main foundations of him " who sit- 
teth in the temple of God, showing himself, that he is God." 

It affords an instructive lesson concerning the miserable nature 
of this prelatical notion of schism, to observe the plan gravely 
marked out by the present Bishop of Vermont, for the restoration 
of Unity in the Church. " O, my brethren," says he (p. o03), 
" how often have I thought of this question, until my heart has 
yearned over the miseries of sectarian division ; and I have felt 


as if my life would be a cheap sacrifice for the Unity of Zion" 
* * " How often have 1 dwelt upon the MODE in which ALONE 
it seemed to my mind, that such a result could be accomplished, 
until 1 almost imagined that the time had come." 

And what is that " mode" that " only" mode, " in which alone" 
this unity can be effected ? Hear Bishop Hopkins' plan : "At 
length the favored hour is come, and lo ! a general cry is heard, for 
a UNIVERSAL COUNCIL." He would have it held on our 
free soil; in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. " Rome 
hears, and responds to the appeal." * * " Her hierarchy all 
consent to the proposed pacification, and appoint their delegates ; 
men unsurpassed in varied learning, and renowned for dialectic 
skill." "Greece gladly unites" "Protestant Germany" yes ! 
Protestant Germany ; Transcendentalists, Neologists men de- 
nying the Lord that bought them : denying the inspiration of the 
Scriptures, and the very personality of the Holy Ghost even 
these the Bishop greets, as they enter the precincts of the Univer- 
sal Council ! And England ? " England, tlie friend of toleration; 
and now, more than ever, feeling' the absolute necessity of religious 
unity : England, chafed and irritated by the demons of sectarian 
zeal; once revolutionized by the fury of fanaticism, and now bleed- 
ing under the lash of civil discord, * . .-* * England hails the 
summons, and joyfully yields her treasures to the work which pro- 
mises to make the Holy Catholic Church one again" 

England the friend of toleration ! Shades of Bishop Bonner 
and Archbishop Laud! England, "chafed by the demons of 
sectarian zeal ?" Marvellously conciliatory to the children of 
them who suffered imprisonment, banishment or death, for free- 
dom to worship God ! But let that pass! 

The Grand Council is assembled. Papists, Neologists, Prela- 
tists : all are there. But for the Dissenters the Puritans, the 
Methodists, the Baptists the good Bishop gives them no sum- 
mons. It might not be agreeable to the company invited, to 
summon any that are not of the " Catholic Church." The Coun- 
cil is assembled. And now for the basis on which to agree : WHAT 

In another publication, Bishop Hopkins has stood for the Bible 
alone : but now, in the Universal Council, he will give up that 
principle for the sake of Union with Romanists. On what Rule 
of Faith he would agree with the German Neologists, who deny 
both inspiration and the Holy Ghost, it does not appear. But 
hear the Bishop in his own words (p. 306), " And now the prin- 
ciple is to be settled, which shall guide the deliberations of this 
august body. And, thank God, there can be no serious difficulty 
in the search ; for the principles avowed by the Church of Rome 
may be made to quadrate sufficiently with the principles of the Re- 


formation, when the minds of Christians are governed by the 
pure desire of truth and of unity. THE BIBLE AND APOSTOLICAL 
TRADITION, are the standards to which the Church of Rome has 
always professed to appeal ; and she consents to try her apostoli- 
cal traditions by the TESTIMONY OF THE FATHERS." * * * 
" The Word of God, therefore, AND THE WRITINGS OF THE FATHERS, 
being' in fact the only authorities to which the great divisions of the 
Christian world ever have appealed, TO THESE THE AP- 
PEAL MUST NOW BE MADE." Alas, alas! Bishop Hop. 
kins will now trust a Council of Papists, Greeks, High Church- 
men and Neologists, to settle authoritatively the faith of the world, 
on the basis of Scripture and tradition, interpreted by the Fathers ! 
And that with the express understanding, that " The principles 
of the Church of Rome may be made to quadrate sufficiently 
with the principles of the Reformation!" " And now" he says, 
" behold the work is done : the trumpet of the Christian Jubilee is 
blown throughout the earth" 

Yes ; a Holy Alliance to dethrone the Lord Jesus Christ, and 
to give his seat and sceptre into the hands of a human hierarchy ! 
A Holy Alliance to throw down the Bible from the altar of God, 
and to exalt a mingled creed, the fruit of an incestuous compro- 
mise between truth and falsehood ! This is to give peace to 
Zion ! This is to bind Christians in uniformity ! Just as 
if when men cannot be made to agree by the clear truth and 
authority of God, they can be made to agree by the wisdom 
and mandates of such a mongrel assembly, ycleped a " Uni- 
versal Council." 

We can point Bishop Hopkins to a shorter, surer, safer way 
to Christian unity. Bind each congregation and each Christian 
to God's Word and to Christ's commandments alone. The ordi- 
nances and commandments of men, throw them all aside. 
Leave each congregation, and each Christian, to go to his Bible 
for himself. Whatever congregations hold the essentials of 
Christianity, and conscientiously observe Christ's ordinances ; 
hold them as true Churches ; call them not sectarians or schis- 
matics ; no, nor dissenters. Lift everywhere the standard of 
mutual respect and love, emblazoned with these sentences of 


done, blow the trumpet of Jubilee as loud and as long as 
you please. If not uniformity, there is essential unity ; all that 
Christ has made provision for, or required. Uniformity, he has 
forbidden any man, or any Church to require. " Let not him 


that eateth, despise him that eateth not : and let not Mm which 
eateth not, judge him that eateth ; for God hath received him. 11 
" Let us not, therefore, judge one another any more ; but judge 
this, that no man put a stumbling-block, or an occasion to fall, in 
his brother's way"* 

It is time to turn from these notions of schism, so absurd in 
themselves, and so utterly inconsistent with the least shadow of 
Christian liberty, to the IDEA OF SCHISM SET FORTH IN THE 

We shall find there, no allusion to such thing as schism, 
consisting in breaking away from the domination of Popes, 
Councils, Prelates, or of the "Catholic" Church. The Word 
of God charges no schism upon those who follow simply the 
ordinances of the Lord Jesus Christ, and reject the mere ordi- 
nances and commandments of men. It does not forbid us to 
separate from false teachers, whatever be their official character ; 
but, on the contrary, requires us to reject such a teacher, though 
he were an Apostle or an Angel from Heaven. The Schism 
of which the New Testament speaks, is internal dissension, within 
the bosom of the same Church. Thus, Rom. xvi. 17, "Now I beseech 
you, brethren, mark those which cause divisions " (tf^oaratna?) 
" CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE which ye have heard, and AVOID 
THEM." Is it schism, then, to " avoid " a bishop who teaches 
another Gospel contrary to the DOCTRINE that we have heard? 
Again, 1 Cor. i. 11, " Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, that there be no DIVISIONS " (o^to-^ara, 
schisms) " among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together IN 

* The English Reformers, while they greatly erred in requiring uniformity at 
home, nevertheless, acted on these principles with regard to Christians abroad. 
Mr. Chapin, in his Primitive Church, with his usual assurance, says, " The Episco- 
pal Church has never renounced the divine institution of Episcopacy, nor has she 
ever acknowledged the orders of any one who had not been Episcopaily ordained." 
I have before shown that the English Reformers did not believe in the divine in- 
stitution of Episcopacy ; and it is notorious that they uniformly treated the non- 
Episcopal foreign Churches and ministers as true Churches and true ministers. 
Bishop Burnet, whose authority on this point is unquestionable, says, " Whatever 
some hotter spirits have thought of this since that time, yet we are very sure that 
not. only those who penned the Articles, but the body of this Church for about half 
an age after, did * * acknowledge the foreign Churches so constituted, to be 
true Churches as to all the essentials of a Church," CHILLING WORTH denies that 
Luther and the other Reformers were schismatics for leaving Rome ; and maintains 
that they were "a part of the Church, and still continued so; and therefore could 
no more separate from the whole than from themselves.' 1 Even HOOKER (Book 
5, 68) says, " The Church is a name which art has given to the professors of the true 
religion. * * We find that accordingly the Apostles do everywhere distinguish the 
Church from Infidels and Jews ; accounting THEM WHICH CALL UPON THE NAME OF 
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, TO BE HIS CHURCH ;" and any other essential thing 
put into the definition of the Church, Hooker maintains to be wrong. He express- 
ly says (Book 7, 14) that "There may be sometimes very just and sufficient 
reasons to allow ordination without a Bishop. * * And therefore we are not simply, 
without exception, to urge a lineal descent * * by continued succession of Bishops 
in every effectual ordination." 


THE SAME MIND, and IN THE SAME JUDGMENT ; for it hath been de- 
clared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the 
house of Chloe, that there are CONTENTIONS among you." Is there 
no schism in the Episcopal Church, because they all bow to the 
authority of bishops, all use the Liturgy, and all the priests wear 
gowns and surplices ; while, nevertheless, CONTENTIONS about 
Puseyism are rending the very bowels of the Church, and forbid 
them to be " in the same mind" and in the " same judgment ?" In 
like manner, in 1 Cor.xii. 25, it is said, " That there should be no 


The prelatical notion of schism is unfounded in Scripture : an 
engine invented to bind the consciences of men in the chains of 
despotism ; to detach Christ's people from their allegiance to His 
truth and throne, and to bind them to the usurped power of a 
human hierarchy. An Apostle of old found occasion to speak of 
some who would burden Christianity by the addition of human 
rites. " Who," says he, " came in privily to spy out our liberty 
which we have in Christ Jesus ; THAT THEY MIGHT BRING us INTO 
BONDAGE : to whom we gave place by subjection, NO, NOT FOR AN 
HOUR." How sad a case the Apostle would have been in, had 
these imposers of human rituals turned round and branded him 
as a Schismatic, because he declined to wear the yoke which 
they had so kindly made for him! 




The Church invisible ; partly on earth, partly in heaven. The Church 
on earth, composed of all Christ's people, in all communions; its 
members known only to God. The Church as composed of visible 
organizations. No National, Provincial, or Diocesan organization or 
authority, recognized in the New Testament. Slater's argument con- 
cerning the Churches of Antioch and Jerusalem, answered by Scrip- 

THE New Testament uses the word " Church " in several 
senses : 


22, 23, " And gave him to be head over all things TO THE 
CHURCH, which is his body ; the fullness of him that filleth all 
in all." This is that Universal or Catholic Church, of which it 
is said, Eph. v. 25, 27, " As Christ loved the CHURCH, and gave 
himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the wash- 
ing of water by the word ; that he might present it to himself a 
glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing ; 
but that it should be holy and without blemish." This is that 
Church, of which it is said, Col. i. 18, 20, " And he is the head 
of the BODY, THE CHURCH ;" * * * " and having made peace 
through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things 
unto himself ; by him I say whether they be THINGS IN EARTH 


But this Catholic Church, of all times and nations, part of 
which is on earth and part in heaven, is no earthly organization. 
It is the Church invisible, whose members are found in all com- 
munions, and who are known only to God. Not every one in 
any earthly communion belongs to this invisible Church ; no rites, 
no sacraments, no creeds, can distinguish them ; they are not all 
Israel who are of Israel; but " the Lord knoweth them that are 


This universal and invisible Church, being no earthly organi- 
zation, has no earthly officers. 

2. There is another sense in which the word Church desig- 
Thus, when Paul persecuted the saints whether at Jerusalem or 
at Damascus, he said, " concerning zeal, persecuting the Church;" 
i. e. the visible, professed disciples of Jesus. It was in this sense 
that the Saviour used the word, when he said, " on this rock will 
I build my Church." This is that " Church " in which it is said 
that God hath set " first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly 
teachers ; after that, miracles ; then gifts of healings, helps, gov- 
ernments, diversities of tongues." This is the Church which 
has received the covenants and the promises ; and to which 
Jesus, when he ascended up on high, gave various officers " for 
the perfecting of the saints ; for the work of the ministry ; for the 
edifying of the body of Christ." 

In this sense the Church is visible ; embracing all Christ's ap- 
parent and professed disciples. It is universal. It is one. But 
it is not one as collected into one organized society. It has not, 
since the Apostles, any universal officers, holding authority over 
the universal body ; and this none have pretended, save in an 
unmeaning and self-contradictory sense ; except the adherents 
of the Pope. 

The unity of this Church is not a unity of organization ; nor 
unity in the degrees and numbers of officers ; nor unity in forms 
of worship. It consists in having " one faith, one Lord, one 
baptism ; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and 
through all, and in all." Its members are one in their agreement 
in the same fundamental truths of Christianity ; one in the same 
profession and visible ordinances; partakers of one spirit; and 
one in the same hope of heaven. The unity which it is essential 
for them to keep, is " the unity of the spirit, in the bond of 
peace ;" provision being expressly made for difference of opinion, 
and difference of practice in unessential things : those who ob- 
serve days and eat meat, and those who do not, being expressly 
forbidden to judge one another; and that injunction ending in 
the sharp reprimand, " Who art thou, that judgest another man's 

This universal Church is independent of modes of organiza- 
tion, and modes of worship ; it being in these respects varia- 
ble, and having actually varied from age to age. Its first visible 
form began with Abraham when it had a sacrament^ but no 
priesthood. It had neither presbyters nor bishops ; but it was 
still the Church of the living God, the root into which other 
Churches are graffed ; and how much soever these Churches 
may glory in their hierarchies, or how much soever they may 


insist that there cannot be a Church without a Bishop, it may 
still be said ^to them, " Thou bearest not the root, but the root 
thee;" that root was long a "Church without a Bishop ;" even 
all the time from Abraham to Moses. 

When the Abrahamic Church had continued in this state 
four centuries and more, a ritual law and a sacrificing priesthood 
were added ; both of which were typical and temporary ; being 
added to remain only " till the promised seed should come." 

When Christ, the substance of these types, came, the types 
both priests, rituals and . sacrifices were abolished. There is 
now no temple^ altar, priest, or sacrifice. The dispensation of 
the Spirit began ; the blessing of Abraham came upon the Gen- 
tiles. In all these changes of external form, the Church is one ; 
its design, its covenant, its foundation being the same. The 
unity of the Church, then, can by no means consist in uniformity 
of organization, or of forms of worship. 

there being no such thing as a National, Provincial, or Diocesan 
organized Christian Church even alluded to in the New Testa- 

Important conclusions follow this principle, if it be true. Let 
those whom it concerns look well to it. If there be no National, 
Provincial, or Diocesan Church organization in the New Testa- 
ment, then there can be no offices or officers corresponding to 
such organizations ; no Pope, no Patriarch, no Diocesan Bishop. 
These offices are of purely human device ; there is no place or 
duty for them ; no provision made for such officers in the Church 
of God. 

It follows, moreover, that all canons, rituals, and Liturgies pre- 
scribed for the Churches of any nation, province, or so called 
diocese, are entirely without authority. 

Let those who are concerned, therefore, look well to the prin- 

We read of " The Church at Jerusalem ;" " the Church at Anti- 
och ;" " the Church at Corinth ;" at Ephesus, Smyrna, Thyatira, 
Philadelphia, Sardis, Pergamos, and Laodicea. We redd of the 
Church at Cenchrea, distinct from the Church at Corinth, though 
Cenchrea was the port of that city ; of the " Church in thy house ;" 
the " Church which is in Nymphas' house." Nowhere do we read 
of the Church of a Nation, a Province, or of a Diocese comprising 
several congregations. No such organization is mentioned, re- 
ferred to, or implied in any part of the New Testament. On the 

* The word is not used here in the technical sense; i e. as distinguishing; Con- 
gregational from Presbyterian. The Presbyterian scheme, as well as the Congre- 
gational, recognizes "no National, Provincial, o'r Diocesan officers, corresponding 
to a National, Provincial or Diocesan organization. 


contrary, when a province, or district of country is mentioned, 
we read of the Churches of that province or district ; we read of 
" the Churches of Galatia," " the Churches of Judea," " the 
Churches of Asia," " the Churches of Macedonia." Had there 
been a Provincial or Diocesan organization, it must have been 

The only Church organization recognized in the New Testa- 
ment is that of local societies or congregations of believers, joined 
together under Christ's rules, having their own officers, and 
meeting for social worship, for the observance of Christian 
sacraments, and 'for the exercise of discipline over their own 

The design of a Church organization renders a larger Church 
organization needless. If Christ's rules are a safe and sufficient 
guide, then any congregation of his people, anywhere, have all 
that they need for the ends of worship, instruction, and the 
observance of Christ's ordinances ; for their mutual watchfulness, 
encouragement, consolation, and edification. Nothing forbids 
contiguous Churches to associate for mutual advice and advan- 
tage ; but to no higher authority are they necessarily bound ; 
since for a Diocesan, Provincial, National, or Catholic organiza- 
tion with inherent power to rule over his Churches, the Lord Jesus 
Christ has made no provision. Nay, he has forbidden submis- 
sion to such power. " The princes of the Gentiles exercise 
dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority 
upon them ; but it shall not be so among you" 

The plea for the exercise of such authority over the Churches ; 
for the imposition of canons, ceremonies, and liturgies, is, the 
preservation of unity ; the prevention of schism ; or the attain- 
ment of uniformity. But turn over every page of history, from 
the time when Victor of Rome excommunicated one half 
of the Christian world trace the exercise of such "dominion" 
where it leads you; and you must follow it through fields 
of slaughter; through the dungeons of the Inquisitions ; through 
the jails and prisons of England ; the only result has been 
to create oppression, persecution, corruptions, schisms, dis- 
tractions without end. When shall it be that all Christ's people 
shall vindicate their Christian liberties ? 

Having gone so far, we might rest here ; there is no authority 
for a National, Provincial, or Diocesan Church in the Word of 
God. We are not bound to inquire any further. Were it God's 
design that we should bear allegiance to such authority, it would 
have been mentioned or implied, or alluded to, in his Holy Word, 
Since it is not mentioned there, those who demand of us submis- 

* The reference to the Apostles, and elders, and brethren, at Jerusalem, made by 
the Church at Antioch, concerning the matter of circumcision, was no exception to 
this ; it was simply a question of advice, made by one Church to another. 


sion to such authority, come without warrant. Prove to us 
that such organizations and authorities existed in the very next 
age (which cannot be proved) that is no warrant; it imposes 
no obligation. The Lord meant to have an end of law-making 
for his Church, when he made an end of it in his Word. 

But though we are not bound to inquire any further, it may 
be well just to look at the nature of the claims for a further 

After searching very extensively in the standard writings of 
Prelacy, I have found no attempt at proof of a Diocesan organiza- 
tion from the New Testament, save some very shrewd conjec- 
tures as to what might have been the case in certain instances. 
It is conjectured that some Churches, as those of Antioch and 
Jerusalem, might have been so numerous as to require several 
distinct congregations organized as Churches, which were again 
combined in one Church, thus making a diocese. On the ground 
of this conjecture, it is confidently asserted that it must have been so; 
and thereupon Prelacy sweeps over the whole ground, and de- 
clares that churches everywhere are bound to submit to Diocesan 
authority. But suppose we admit this conjecture to be correct, 
that the Church at Jerusalem and that at Antioch at length be- 
came Diocesan. It applies only to one or two large cities ; 
while all the rest of Christendom is left destitute of dioceses; 
there being no recognition of any other such organization, 
and no necessity or ground for supposing from the New Testa- 
ment that there were any such. The proper inference is that both 
modes have an example in Apostolical times; and that neither is 
of any exclusive authority. 

If, however, we find that the conjecture is incorrect, and that 
so far as the New Testament goes, these great Churches continued 
still to meet together, then the last pretence of an organized Dio- 
cesan Church in the days of the Apostles, vanishes away. 

The Prelatical argument is, that the Church of Antioch and 
Jerusalem must have been too numerous to meet together ; and 
that, therefore, each must have been composed of several churches 
united in a Diocese. No direct evidence is adduced ; the argu- 
ment is wholly conjectural or inferential. 

And first with regard to Jerusalem. It is urged that three 
thousand were converted on the day of Pentecost; that subse- 
quently there were added to the Church daily. Again, that the 
number of the men who believed, was about five thousand ; and 
how could so numerous a Church continue to meet together ? If 
we shall show, that to the last New Testament record in the 
case, they did "come together," we need not trouble ourselves 
about the difficulties. That proof I reserve, till we have consid- 
ered the case of Antioch. At present I remark, in passing, that 


those converted on the day of Pentecost, appear to have been 
principally strangers dwellers in Mesopotamia, Parthia, Medes, 
Elamites, and others, who were then casually at Jerusalem, and 
who probably soon after returned to their homes. What accom- 
modations there were for a large multitude to come together, may 
be inferred from the fact, that out of the hearers on the day of 
Pentecost, three thousand were converted ; while it is not cer- 
tain that the converts were one half or one third of the hearers. 
These conjectures may fairly be set over against all conjectures 
on the other side ; but we need not rely upon any conjectures, 
since we have the direct and unequivocal testimony of the Word 
of God. 

Let us turn to Antioch ; and that we may have the full 
benefit of the Prelatical argument, let me here copy the words of 
its favorite and ablest champion SLATER, in his " Original 
Draught of the Puritan Church" pp. 70, 71. Says Slater, " Anti- 
och was early blessed with the glad tidings of the Gospel ; the 
blood of the first martyr became the seed of a Christian Church 
there, as the Fathers took a pleasure to speak ; for many Chris- 
tians dispersed on that occasion, resorted thither; and the first 
account we have of their labors is, that the hand of the Lord 
was with them, and a great number believed and turned unto the 
Lord" " Tidings of this came to the Church of Jerusalem, 
where the whole college of Apostles was in readiness to consult 
for them." " They send Barnabas, a good man, and full of the 
Holy Ghost and of faith, to improve this happy opportunity, and 
the success answered their expectation ; for by his powerful 
exhortations much people, says the holy text, was added to the 
Lord. But to forward this work of the Lord still more, Barna- 
bas travels to Tarsus, and joins Saul, the great Apostle of the 
Gentiles now, and returning with him to Antioch, they continue 
a whole year together, in that populous city, teaching much people. 
What a harvest of Christian converts those Apostolical laborers 
made in that compass of time, assisted by all that fled thither 
from Jerusalem besides, by the men of Cyprus and Cyrene, fel- 
low laborers with them, to convert the Greeks as well as Jews to 
the faith ; and by the several inspired prophets, so peculiarly 
noted to be among them, I refer to the sober judgment of all 
who know the fruits of so many single sermons preached by an 
Apostle, at the first promulgation of the Gospel. Two things are 
sure, 1st. That the reputation arid honor of the converts there 
were such, that they laid aside the derided name of Nazarenes or 
Galileans now, and openly assumed the name of their Lord and 
Master, and were first called Christians there. Secondly, That 
there were two distinct sets or parties of them Judaizing Chris- 
tians, zealous of the law, and Gentile converts, as earnestly 


insisting on their freedom and exemption from it : each party so 
considerable, as to call for an Apostolical council to decide the 
controversy between Ihem." 

" Such was the very infant state of this Church of Antioch ; 
the oversight whereof, antiquity tells us, the great Apostle St 
Peter, in a peculiar manner took upon himself, and for six or 
seven years at least, made it his first, and special apostolic see." 

This is all that Prelacy can allege to show from the New 
Testament, that there might have been or must have been, a 
Diocesan Church at Antioch ; the force of the argument consists 
in whatever ground there may be to conjecture, that the Church 
at Antioch was too large to come together. 

Let us compare these conjectures with the Word of God. 
Slater says, " Tidings came to the Church of Jerusalem, where 
the whole college of Apostles was in readiness to consult for 
them. They" (the college of Apostles) " send Barnabas." Turn 
to Acts xi. 22, " Then tidings of these things came unto the ears 
of THE CHURCH which was in Jerusalem ; and THEY sent forth 
Barnabas." There is no breath about a " College of Apostles." 

Slater again : " They continue a whole year in that populous 
city, leaching much people" The sacred record says, Acts xi. 
26, that " A whole year they assembled themselves WITH THE 
CHURCH and taught much people." 

Slater continues to argue from various probabilities, " What 
a harvest of converts those Apostolic laborers made ;" he accu- 
mulates circumstances and considerations, to show how nume- 
rous these converts must have been. To what end does he do 
this ? Why, simply to show that the Church at Antioch must, 
from its numbers, have become a Diocese embracing several 
congregations : being too large to meet TOGETHER. 

This, then, is the question : Can this Church at Antioch come 
together ; or can it not? If it can ; and if the same continues 
true of the Church in Jerusalem, the last pretence of a Scriptural 
Diocesan Church, for ever vanishes away. 

What says the Scripture ? In Acts xiv. 24, 27, Barnabas and 
Saul, having been sent from the Church at Antioch through sev- 
eral regions on a special work, passing through Lystra, Derbe, 
Iconium, Antioch in Pisidia, and throughout Pisidia, to Pam- 
philia and Attalia> come at length to ANTIOCH, "from whence they 
had been recommended to the grace of God for t'he work which 
they fulfilled." " And when they were come and had GATHERED 
THE CHURCH TOGETHER." This was after the time of the great 
in-gathering of converts at Antioch. No necessity for a Diocese 
on account of the impossibility of the Church's coming together 
yet ; for they not only " gathered the Church together," but when 
they had done so, they " rehearsed all that God had done with 


them" But this is not all ; the record goes on to relate that 
" they continued a long- time with the disciples.'' 1 And in that 
long time, what further came to pass ? Why, a dissension arises 
about lhe doctrine of certain Judaizing teachers from Judea. 
" THE BRETHREN " at Antioch determine that Paul and Barna- 
bas, and certain other of them should go up to Jerusalem unto 
the Apostles and elders about this question. Trace these min- 
isters and delegates. " And when they were come to Jerusa- 
lem, they were received OF THE CHURCH, AND OF THE APOSTLES 
AND ELDERS." * * " Then ciU the multitude kept silence and gave 
audience to Barnabas and Saul." * * * "Then it pleased 
the Apostles and elders with the WHOLE CHURCH to send chosen 
men of their own company." They wrote in the name of " The 
Apostles, and elders, and brethren." So when these chosen 
men were dismissed, " They came to Antioch ; and when they 
epistle." At the latest record, the Church of Antioch and the 
Church at Jerusalem come together, and act IN A BODY, as Con- 
gregational Churches. 

It is unnecessary to say more. The New Testament record 
is so circumstantial and varied, that had there been a Diocesan 
organization, in the times within the scope of its history, some, 
hint or allusion to its existence, must have been left on the sacred 

As to the Fathers ; there could not have been a Diocesan Church 
in their times, till they had altered the constitution of Church 
government traced in the Word of God. All that the Lord in- 
tended to render obligatory, he doubtless caused to be put on the 
record, either in direct terms, or by some implication or allusion ; 
otherwise we are thrown upon tradition, or Church authority. The 
Bible, in that case, is not our guide or rule; and we know not where 
we may be tossed or driven. No testimony of the Fathers, there- 
fore, no possible arguments can render that binding, in the very 
principles and fundamentals of Church organization and govern- 
ment, of which no trace is written on the pages of the Sacred 



Scriptural Authority. The arrangements of Prelacy contrary to Scripture. 

1. Of what materials is a Christian Church to be composed ? 

In the present state of the world, may the Church, wherever 
she goes, gather the whole population, by " street rows," parishes, 
or by entire nations, indiscriminately into her bosom 1 

Paul writes to " The Church of God at Corinth," thus (1 
Cor. v.): " I ivrite unto you, not to company withfornicators ; yet 
not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the cov- 
etous, or extortioners, or with idolaters, for then ye must needs go 
out of the world; but now I have written unto you, not to keep 
company, IF ANY MAN THAT is CALLED A BROTHER, be afornicator, 
or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extor- 
tioner ; WITH SUCH A ONE NO NOT TO EAT J for W/lttt have I to do 

to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that 
are within" 

Here are established certain principles: 

1. That each Church is to "judge " of the qualifications and 
character of its members. 

2. That merely being " called a brother" i. e. being regarded 
as a nominal Christian (holding the belief of Christianity rather 
than of Judaism, Paganism, Mohammedanism, or Infidelity), 
does not entitle one to be regarded as a member of a Church, 
while his conduct falsifies and shames such a profession. The 
Church must cast him out, even if he is within ; much more, 
being without, they may not admit one of such a character to 
their communion ; i. e. they are bound to judge concerning the 
character and qualifications of their members ; and to cast out, 
much more to keep out the grossly immoral ; whatever their pro- 
fessions. With such a one, says the Apostle, " No NOT TO 
EAT ;" not by the slightest act of recognition, to own him as 
a brother in the Church. As one of the world, you may hold 
necessary dealings and intercourse with him, as with a heathen 



man and a publican ; but his pretensions as a Christian brother, 
you are not to countenance. 

Such instructions Paul had already given to the Corinthian 
Church ; and now he sharply rebukes them that they had not 
cast out a notorious fornicator. " Know ye not that a little lea' 
ven leaveneth the whole lump ? Purge out therefore the old lea- 
ven ;" that is, put such a wicked person away. But a Church 
gathered by " street rows," in any part of Christendom, will have 
more than " a little leaven " in it; the majority of such Churches 
will consist of a large proportion of leaven, as the world now goes. 
In such a Church discipline is impossible ; as the very idea of dis- 
cipline, in such a case, is an absurdity. Such a Church is cor- 
ruptly constituted, and being made up mainly of those who spirit- 
ually reject Christ, it will reject Christ's laws. 

Nor does it alter the case, that these people are gathered (as 
is pretended) under a true successional priesthood ; and under 
the notion that baptism and the Lord's Supper, administered by 
that priesthood, confer regeneration and impart a sanctifying vir- 
tue. Nothing is more notoriously untrue. The people of the 
National Church of England have all been baptized; but nothing 
is more notorious and undeniable, than that multitudes of them 
are fornicators, profane swearers, and otherwise as utterly destitute 
of all religion as the inhabitants of Sodom or Gomorrah. The 
same is true of every National Church, and of all particular 
Churches indiscriminately gathered. And when, or where, has 
an instance occurred of such a discipline as the Gospel enjoins ; 
viz. the casting out, or excommunication, of grossly vicious or 
immoral persons, in all the Episcopal Churches in England or the 
United States ? 

A little attention to facts, will show a state of things, which 
calls for deep reflection on the part of all true Christians, who 
stand connected with churches gathered on this indiscriminate 
principle. The Oxford Tract, No. 59,* says "Every church- 
warden in every parish in England, is called upon once a year, 
to attend the visitation of his Archdeacon. At this time, oaths 
are tendered to him * and among other things he 

swears, that he will present to the Archdeacon the names of all 
such inhabitants of his parish as are leading notoriously immoral 
lives. This oath is regularly taken once a year, by every church- 
warden in every parish in England ; yet I believe, that such a 
thing- as any single presentation for notoriously' immoral conduct 
has scarcely been heard of in a century" Again, Tract No. 41 f 
says, " I think the Church has in a measure forgotten its own 
principles, as declared in the sixteenth century ; nay, under 

* Quoted in Coleman's Primitive Church. t Quoted in Coleman, p. 122. 


stranger circumstances * * than have attended any of the 
errors and corruptions of the Papists. Grievous as are their de- 
clensions from primitive usage, I never heard in any case, of 
their practice directly contradicting their services ; whereas we 
go on lamenting once a year the absence of discipline in our 
church, yet do not dream of taking any one step towards its res- 
toration." 9 

Thus speak the Tractarians, with regard to the English Church. 
With regard to the Episcopal Church in this country, hear Dr. 
Hawkes, in his " Contributions to the Ecclesiastical History, &c." 
[pp. 359, 360] : It is true, the power of excommunication does 
belong to the Church ; it does, too, deprive of all the privileges of 
church membership; and it is the most awful power ever confided 
by heaven to man ; rightfully exercised, its consequences (though 
the world may scorn them) are of the most terrific character, if the 
Scriptures be true" 

Since, then, excommunication is a power given to the Church ; 
and since the exercise of that power, in worthy cases, is enjoined 
by the Word of God, does the Episcopal Church in this coun- 
try ever exercise that power ? Or if not, is it because there are no 
subjects, within her pale, whose character demands it ? Hear 
Dr. Hawkes in continuation : 

" It is true the power of excommunication does belong to the 
Church." * * * * " BUT WHO EVER HEARD OF THE EX- 
CHURCH ? The law is a dead letter. Neither the General Con- 
vention nor any state Convention have ever provided any rules or 
process for excommunication. THERE is NOT A CLERGYMAN IN 

FIRST STEP IN THE PROCESS. It certainly is not to be done ac- 
cording to his mere whirn; and if it were so done, it is as cer- 
tainly invalid. Shall then the PRESBYTER alone do it ; or shall it 
be done by his BISHOP ; or by a CONCLAVE OF BISHOPS ; or of 
the laity; or by the GENERAL CONVENTION, including the 
laity again ? NO MAN CAN ANSWER, FOR THERE is 
NO RULE ON THE SUBJECT ; andwe are glad that it is so : for our 
excommunication, bringing in its train no penalty which would 
be felt, depriving- a man of no civil rights, would be laughed at 
as mere brutum fulmen. The spiritual consequences would not 
be thought of." * * * * " To our apprehension, the rubric 
is, on this subject, quite law enough, unless we had power to 
make the discipline of the Church to be more felt as a punish- 

Alas ! that a minister of Christ should acknowledge it to be 


Christ's ordinance, that vicious and incorrigible offenders should 
be excommunicated by the Church; and then, declaring that "No 
man can answer" how, or by whom, that is to be done ; arid that 
no minister in the Church can tell " how to take the very first step 
in the process ;" should express his pleasure " that it is .so;" 
" We are glad it is so /" Glad that Christ's laws are neutralized 
and nullified in the Church! And Dr. Hawkes really thinks 
and declares, that excommunication would all be idle and laugh- 
able, and is therefore usele'ss, unless the Church had power to 
" deprive a man of some civil rights ;" or " to make the discipline 
of the Church more felt as a punishment /" Has Christ then been 
unwise in enjoining the discipline of excommunication, unless 
he would give his Church some of the power of the kingdoms 
of this world? Were not the subject so solemn, how supreme- 
ly ridiculous it would be, after all the loud vauntings of the 
" Apostolic Church" to hear this confession ; that no man in the 
Church knows how to take the very first step in a process which 
Christ has so clearly marked out and enjoined. How to do it; 
who can do it : Presbyter, Bishop, General Conyention, State 
Convention, a conclave of Bishops, a conclave of Bishops 
and Presbyters, or conclave including the laity, either the State 
laity, or the general laity : really Dr. Hawkes, with all his elabo- 
rate research into " Constitutions and Canons," cannot tell ! He 
is sure no clergyman or layman in their whole Church can tell ; 
and he is glad of it ! 

If he will just throw away his " Constitutions and Canons," 
and go to the Bible, he will find the matter pointed out very 
minutely by our Lord's own finger, in the eighteenth of Matthew ; 
Go to the offender alone ; if he refuse to hear thee, take an- 
other with thee ; if you cannot gain him so, then " TELL IT TO THE 
CHURCH :" That is the injunction : " Tell it to the CHURCH :" 
not to the Archdeacon ; not to the Rector ; not to the Bishop ; 
not to the General or State convention ; no, nor to any conclaves 
of dignitaries. but TO THE CHURCH :" and if he refuse to hear 
THE CHURCH, "let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a 
publican;" as a bad man, having no standing or privileges as 
a member of the Church. Call for no civil penalties ; if the 
offender does not feel this " as a punishment," then reform your 
Church, so that it will be something to turn a man out of it into 
the world. 

If there should arise any doubt whether the Rector is not "the 
Church," or whether the Bishop is not the Church, turn to 1 Cor. 
v., and you will find that it is such a Church as can be "gathered 
together;" and certainly a Bishop or a Rector would appear very 
singular in "gathering" himself, all alone, " together" for the pur- 
pose of hearing and deciding in matters of discipline. If any 


doubt still remains, whether it be not some State or general con- 
clave that constitutes the Church, turn to i Cor. i. 2, and you will 
find that Paul speaks of a local Church, "The Church of God 
which is at Corinth ;" and it is made up of them that are " called 
to be saints ;" who, at least by their profession, and in the judg- 
ment of charity, are in some measure " sanctified in Christ 

It is most manifest, and undeniable, that the Episcopal Church 
has made void an acknowledged ordinance of Christ, by its tra- 
ditions and canons. And this error springs from another still 
more radical ; from sweeping the world indiscriminately, with a 
drag-net, into the bosom of the Church. No discipline, such as 
Christ enjoins, ever has been maintained, or ever can be main- 
tained in a Church so constituted. In one word ; THE WORLD, 
under any form or principle of organization, CAN NEVER FORM A 


Of what MATERIALS, then, is a Church of Christ to be com- 
posed ? I answer, of those who CREDIBLY PROFESS to be the real 
disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. If any confessedly have no 
repentance toward God, and no faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it 
is a gross absurdity to think of gathering them into the Church 
of Christ. If any make such a profession, and yet profess it 
not credibly, evidently mistaking the nature of faith and re- 
pentance, or in works and character, falsifying their profession, 
they are not to be received ; for such, in case of definable crimes 
and immoralities, are, upon proof, to be cast out; even after they 
have found admission. How much more are they not to be admit- 
ted ? 

The New Testament, when it speaks of a Christian Church, 
always presumes that it is made up of visible saints by the call- 
ing of God. Thus 1 Cor. i. 2 ; " Unto the Church of God whichis 
at Corinth ;" " to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus]' 
" called to be saints" So Ephesians i. 1 : " To the saints which 
are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus" And, through- 
out, their true conversion and faith are assumed. Paul speaks 
of them as " having trusted in Christ" " obtained inheritance" 
" sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise" " And you hath he 
quickened." To the Church of the Philippians he writes, " To 
all the saints in Christ Jesus," "To the saints and faithful breth- 
ren in Christ which are at Colosse" 

It is not pretended that a visible Church must be made up ex- 
clusively of true Christians. >ome deceive themselves ; some 
are very possibly hypocrites ; some show that they are " false 
brethren." All that we affirm is, that the materials of the Church 


must be such as credibly profess a true allegiance to the 
Lord Jesus Christ.* 

Having taken this view of the proper Church materials^ we 


A number of baptized believers dwelling in the same vicin- 
ity, do not, necessarily constitute a Church. They must asso- 
ciate together for the enjoyment of Christian ordinances, and 
for other ends of Church fellowship. Doing this, they are a 
Church, even before they have appointed a single officer, and 
without regard to the peculiar organization which they may 
adopt. An imperfect or inexpedient manner of organization and 
of polity, does not destroy their Church existence ; unless it is 
such an organization as necessarily defeats the very ends for 
which a Church was instituted. The words of the Cambridge 
Platform (c. v. 1) are to the purpose: " A Church being a com- 
pany of people combined together by covenant for the worship 
of God, it appeareth thereby, that there may be the essence and 
being of a Church without any officers ; seeing there is both the 
form and matter of a Church ; which is implied when it is said, 
The Apostles ordained elders in every Church," i. e. there were 
churches before there were Church officers ; as there must be 
society before there are rules. 

But how do Christians become thus associated ? The formal 
manner is indifferent ; provided there is the substance. If these 
come together with a mutual, though informal, understanding ; 
and act together as a Church, they thereby bind themselves to 
the duties of Church members in that Church. This appears to 
have been the usual mode of gathering Churches under the 
labors of the Apostles ; nothing further appears on the record. 
A disorderly or vicious brother might be admonished or cast out 
according to Christ's laws, as well as though the covenant had 
been ever so formal. 

People afterwards joined the Church on profession of their 

* Let those who would see the matters of Church materials, power, structure, 
and things of that sort, ably and conclusively handled, turn to the first six chapters 
of the Cambridge Platform. Every word of those chapters was well pondered. Its 
statements and definitions are given in the most studied and guarded terms : show- 
ing the whole to be the work of men who had spent more time, and expended more 
toil, in studying these subjects than have been given to them by most divines in 
modern days. The subject had been earnestly discussed for more than an age ; the 
various difficulties, and the bearing of various principles, were most clearly seen by 
the men who drew up that Platform. The various treatises and tracts of OWEN on 
the same subjects, will richly repay any one who feels it worth his time to give 
these matters an examination. The recent works of Punchard and Coleman are 
also a rich contribution to this branch of theology. The cause of truth and godli- 
ness bears a more intimate relation to Church order and government, than those 
who have thought little on the subject are apt to suppose. 


faith, being baptized, and being received to, and enjoying tip 
privileges of Church members ; they thereby assumed the duties 
of members of the Church. On these principles our Puritan 
Fathers acted, but they made the confession and covenant formal. 
There are advantages in this formal mode of confession and 
covenant, while no possible mode of confessing Christ, and 
availing one's self of the privileges of Church membership, in- 
volves less than the substance of what is here done in form.* 


We have already referred to the answer in Matt, xviii., " TELL 
CHURCH," &c. The Church, then, is the tribunal which is to hear 
and issue complaints, to remonstrate, rebuke, and when necessa- 
ry, to excommunicate. We have already seen from 1 Cor. v. 
that this is such a Church as may be "gathered together" In 
Matt, xviii. Christ adds, " Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth 
shall be bound in Heaven ;" whatsoever ye, the Church, shall 
bind ; not that the excommunication of a member seals his dam- 
nation, but Christ in Heaven will require of its members a due 
regard to such decisions of the Church; and so far forth 
clothes the Church with authority. Paul asserts the same prin- 
ciple in 1 Cor. v. " In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when 
ye are gathered together, and my spirit,with the power of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, to deliver such a one to Satan'" that is, by Christ's 
requisition and authority, they are to gather together for such a 
purpose ; and when gathered together, they are clothed " with the 
power of the Lord Jesus Christ" with whatever power he 
has committed to human hands, for the authoritative exercise of 
discipline in the Church. 

If this is Christ's LAW on this subject, then it follows : 1. That 

* When a candidate seeks admission into a Congregational Church, in some cases 
he comes into the Church meeting, and either orally, or in a brief writing, gives 
the reason of the hope that is in him. In others, this is done in conversation with 
a committee of the Church, or with the pastor; and after being duly propounded, 
if no objections are made, he is received by owning the confession and covenant 
of the Church. 

The nature of the qualifications for membership is thus stated by COT.TON in 
his " Way of the. New England Churches" written two hundred years ago. " In this 
we do not exact eminent measure, either of knowledge or holiness ; but do stretch out 
our hands to receive the iveak in faith; such in whose spirits we can discern the least 
measure of breathing and panting after Christ, in their sensible feeling of a lost 
estate; for we had rather that ninety nine hypocrites should perish through pre- 
sumption, than one humble soul belonging to Christ should sink under discourage- 
ment and despair." Can any one imagine, that the Apostles and early Churches 
used less discrimination than this? 

The principle of communion is thus nobly stated by OWEN , " And we do there- 
fore affirm, that we will never deny that communion unto any person, high or low, rich 
or poor, old or young, male or female, WHOSE DUTY IT is TO DESIRE IT." 


BO governor, pastor, or Prelate, has power to turn men out of 
Christ's Church, or to impose the continuance of an unworthy 
member upon the Church; but the brotherhood hold the power 
in their own hands. 2. That every member of the Church has 
a right to be judged by his peers. That is, THE CHURCH is NOT 
A MONARCHY, BUT A REPUBLIC ; and from this idea, elaborated 
by our Puritan forefathers, and vindicated by their sufferings and 
firmness, is derived the very idea and germ of our AMERICAN 

In this point of view, the organization of the Puritan Churches 
differs heaven-wide from all Prelatical Churches. On the Epis- 
copal scheme, whatever discipline may be exercised, it is to be 
exercised arbitrarily by the Rector and Bishop. The people have 
not the slightest power. They can neither exclude an unworthy 
associate, nor defend an injured one. In this most important re- 
spect, the Bishop is King, and the Rector is a subordinate satrap ; 
the people have no right nor duties in the case, except to acquiesce 
in the mandate of their masters. On the Prelatical scheme, the 
offence is never told "to the Church;" the Church is never "gath- 
ered together " for such a purpose ; but Christ's law is set aside 
and forbidden. 

Attempts have been made to evade the force of these two pas- 
sages in Matt, xviii., and 1 Cor. v. 

It is said with regard to the direction in Matt, xviii., that the 
Church was not then constituted ; and consequently that a Chris- 
tian congregation cannot be the Church intended ; but that the 
direction means, Tell it to the synagogue. The absurdity of this 
evasion appears from several considerations. (1.) The disci- 
ples could understand the meaning of the word Church here as 
well as they could in the passage two chapters previous, Matt. 
xvi., when Christ says, " On this rock will I build my Church;" 
he could not refer to building up a Jewish synagogue. (2.) 
Nothing shows that the word Church here, is used out of its 
usual sense. It was one of the most common words among the 
disciples, from this time to the end of the New Testament. (3.) 
It is impossible to suppose that Christ would refer his disciples 
to the Jewish synagogue as a proper tribunal when the Jews 
had already agreed, that if any man should confess Christ, he 
should be put out of the synagogue. Surely Christ did not 
require his disciples to treat such a person, so cast out of a Jewish 
synagogue, as " a heathen man and a publican." 

With regard to 1 Cor. v., an invasion is attempted which is thus 
set forth by Mr. Chapin in his " Primitive Church." " The sen- 
tence" he says, " was by the Apostle, the execution of it was com- 
mitted to the Church, either as a part of their official duty, or in 
consequence of the Apostle's absence." (p. 139.) 


But Paul's direction is no sentence, he is only laying 1 down the 
law, under which, the Church is the tribunal to hear, determine, 
and execute. 

1. He had heard of the case only by report. Is he passing sen- 
tence of condemnation on hearsay, without trial, and without spe- 
cifying the person on whom the sentence is pronounced? 

On the principle laid down by Mr. Chapin, a diocesan Bishop 
has only to hear a report concerning some member of a Church 
at a distance, and forthwith he may pronounce his sentence, which 
the Church must execute. They may guess who it is that is con- 
demned ; and if the person arrested pleads not guilty, no matter, 
the Church is no tribunal : they cannot institute an inquiry ivhe- 
ther he has done this thing-, for sentence is passed, and they are 
only executioners ! The only possible inquiry which they are 
competent to make is, whether this is the person whom the 
Bishop intends; if so, away with him; he is condemned, sen- 
tenced, executed without trial! Is this the law of Prelacy? 
Why even a Jew could demand, u DOTH OUR LAW JUDGE ANY 
MAN BEFORE IT HEAR HIM ?" Paul himself said with indignation, 
and now do they thrust us out privily ?" Was Paul a man to 
pronounce sentence without a hearing ? Even if he had done 
so, the Church must have instituted an inquiry, (1.) who was the 
man intended : and (2.) whether he h?.d " done this thing-;" since 
Paul condemns no other : so that in any case the Church is the 
tribunal to hear and determine ; and Paul's direction can be re- 
garded in no other light than as an instruction concerning the 
law and their duty in the case. 

2. The context shows this to be the nature of Paul's injunc- 
tion. " Purge out the old leaven." " I wrote to you in an epis- 
tle, not to company with fornicators." * * "But now I have 
written to you, not to keep company, if ANY MAN THAT is CALLED 
A BROTHER, be a fornicator," &c., &c., " with SUCH AN ONE, no, not 
TO EAT." Here is no sentence upon a' particular individual, but 
a GENERAL LAW applicable to the case of " ANY MAN" that is called 
brother, who is found to be " SUCH A ONE :" and to make the 
matter entirely indubitable, the Apostle adds " Do not YE JUDGE 
them that are within ?"* 

* Our author himself is not satisfied with his interpretation, though he hangs 
tremendous consequences upon it. After taking his stand, that Paul is here pro- 
nouncing a judicial sentence, which the Church is merely called upon to execute, he 
says (p. 139), " There is another interpretation of this passage, which may, after all, 
be the true^ one." * * * * " In this view, the decree of the Apostle would 
have the force of a Canon, and the office of the Church would be the execution of the 
law. * * * The act of the Church, therefore, in either point of view, was that 
of execution" This is erroneous ! If Paul is not giving a judicial sentence, but only 
declaring the law, or " Canon, " then the Church does not execute a sentence; but 
institutes a process of law. The Church is therefore a Tribunal; to hear, decide, 


On turning to 2 Cor. ii. 6, we find that the Church had 
exercised discipline upon the offender to good purpose. He had 
repented; and now Paul exhorts the Church to restore him. 
" Sufficient to such a man is this punishment which was inflicted 
of many ; so that contrary wise, ye ought rather to forgive him." 

Such is Christ's LAW on the subject of discipline. Such are 
the powers and responsibilities which Christ has reposed in the 
Church. Who has a right to take them away ? By what au- 
thority does a Church of Christ ever surrender these powers and 
responsibilities into the hands of Prelates ? Can they do it with- 
out altering the very constitution which Christ has given to 
his Church, and trampling the fundamental laws of his kingdom 
under their feet ?* 

and pronounce sentence, according to law; i.e., The power of discipline is, by the 
Word of God, reposed in the Church. He appears to value his book as the work 
of a lawyer: but what will lawyers say to the legal acumen, that can see no dis- 
tinction between a " Canon" or general rule or principle of law, and a sentence 
awarding the penalty of that canon to a particular transgressor ? And what will 
the lawyers say to a judgment on hearsay ; a sentence without a trial; a sentence to 
be executed without designating the person ? 

* Dr. Hawkes, in his u Constitution and Canons," says that the " Rubrics " be- 
fore the communion service, requiring the minister to repel evil livers from the com- 
munion, and to give notice to the Bishop, is all the provision for any discipline 
upon ordinary members of the Church. He says, p. 362, " We know of no other law 
of the Church, which practically reaches the case of an offending layman but this ; and 
there are very few Dioceses in which any provisio*n is made by canon for investi- 
gating or trying the case of a layman. He must, therefore, so offend as to come 
within the terms of the rubric, or we know not how he is to be disciplined." 

What usurpation and perversion is here ! The priest's judgment, caprice, or 
will, without any trial or defence, takes away one of the dearest rights of Christ's 
people. The Bishop only can institute an inquiry, on complaint in writing by the 
repelled party; and then there are very few Dioceses in which any provision exists 
for investigating or trying the case of a layman ! The layman, therefore, has no 
remedy but in the good pleasure or mercy of his rector or Bishop. He can demand 
nothing of right. A punishment which Christ did not enjoin, is to be inflicted by 
an authority different from that to which Christ entrusted the power of discipline; 
punishment is inflicted arbitrarily, without trial, and in most Dioceses without any 
method of redress ! Can there be a more flagrant or fundamental departure, in 
matters of discipline, from the laws of Christ's house ? And that Church talks 
about dpostolicity, and Primitive order! 



Observation of distinguished Civilians. Inseparable connection between , 
doctrine and the genius of government. Prelacy incompatible with 
Christ's injunctions. Claim of Bishops to be irresponsible sovereigns. 
Republican principles recognized by the Apostles. Popular elections. 
Mistake with regard to the word Ordain. 

IT is remarkable how men of comprehensive views, and free 
from sectarian bias, have agreed with regard to THE REPUBLICAN- 
ISM OF CHRISTIANITY. " Christianity," says Montesquieu, "is a 
stranger to despotic power." " The religion," says De Tocque- 
ville, " which declares that all are equal in the sight of God, will 
not refuse to acknowledge that all citizens are equal in the eye of 
the law. Religion is the companion of liberty in all its battles 
and all its conflicts ; the cradle of its infancy and the divine 
source of its claims." " The friends of liberty in France are 
accustomed to speak in enthusiastic commendation of the Repub- 
licanism of the Scriptures." The Abbe de la Mennais, acknow- 
ledged as one of the most powerful minds in Europe, little as 
he regards Christianity as a revelation from God, familiarly 
speaks of its Author as " The Great Republican" Our own De 
Witt Clinton said. " Christianity, in its essence, its doctrines, and 
its forms, is republican."* 

In the view of Christianity all men are " of one blood." Chris- 
tianity extends its laws over the rich and over the poor, the peas- 
ant and the prince, the bondman and the free alike. In its doc- 
trines, its demands, and its eternal retributions, it is a leveller 
like the grave. There is one way of salvation for the Apostle 
and the publican. The most exalted in the Church is only " as 
he that doth serve ;*' he has no prerogative to come with any 
" Priestly intervention" between the merest beggar and the 
Throne ; the merest beggar may come and must come before 
the mercy seat for himself. So surely do these doctrines tend 
to republicanism, and to break up all spiritual despotisms, that no 

# These citations are from Dr. Spring's " Obligations of the World to the Bible." 


Hierarchy, Protestant or Romish, dares hold fearlessly to the 
Bible alone as the rule of faith, and to the doctrine of justifica- 
tion by faith alone, to the renunciation of all priestly interventions 
for the forgiveness of sins. The sure tendency of Prelacy is 
through Puseyism to Popery : so essentially and inseparably are 
the fundamental doctrines of the Gospel connected, in the long 
run and on a broad scale, with the genius of the government 
adopted in the Church. Give people the Bible alone for their 
rule, and justification by faith alone, and they will neutralize or 
cast off the Hierarchy. Impose upon them the dogmas of 
priestly interventions through a successional priesthood, and they 
cannot remain free. If any one imagines this to be mere theory, 
we fearlessly challenge him to point us to any facts that contra- 
dict it in the whole history of Christianity. Low CHURCH AND 


it has been, is now, and ever must be, till causes shall be dis- 
joined from their effects, and the world turn once more to chaos. 

The tendency of the true Gospel principles is to-bring the 
most absolute despotism under the limits of law ; to imbue lim- 
ited monarchies more and more with the spirit of popular institu- 
tions ; to prepare the people to govern themselves ; and finally to 
establish everywhere the spirit and the reality, if not the very 
forms of a republic. 

The great founder of Christianity seemed to have in view this 
elevation and ultimate freedom of the whole race, when he en- 
joined it upon his disciples to " call no man master ;" thus 
binding the conscience to God's throne, and setting it free from 
all human domination. The great design seems to be, like that 
of Eden, to exalt and discipline the individual soul, and to pre- 
pare it for citizenship in God's free, but holy and everlasting 
kingdom. In the same manner he left his worship simple and 
free; forbidding all his disciples to judge their brethren in 
" meats " or " days ;" and by parity of reason, forbidding them to 
judge each other, in rites and forms ; and forbidding all alike to 
be subject, in such matters, to the ordinances and commandments 
of men. In the same manner, pointing to " Lordship," and no- 
bility, among the nations, he said to his Church, "It shall not be 
so among you." He carefully laid down such rules of discipline, 
as leave the authority in the hands of the Church; thus making 
it a republic. And surely, if any one maintains that a brother- 
hood of Christians, under the few simple rules, and for the sim- 
ple ends of Church government, are imcompetent to govern them- 
selves, he ought for ever to abandon the idea, that the indiscri- 
minate people, of an extended state, with all the complication of 
interests and laws which come under the purview of civil gov- 


ernment, will ever be competent to manage the concerns of a re- 
publican government. If Christ's people, few and simple as 
are the ends of Church government, are not competent to govern 
themselves in Church estate, then the very idea of republican 
government ought to be abandoned in all the earth. 

But the very elements of popular rights in the discipline and 
government of the Church, Prelacy has taken quite away.* 

She has subverted the very genius and spirit of the polity of 
the Christian Church ; making it a MONARCHY instead of a RE- 
PUBLIC. There are indeed some popular elements interwoven 

* Is it the genius of Prelacy to invert all the fundamentals of Church polity laid 
down in the Word of God? Christ gathers only professed and apparent believers 
into his Church. Prelacy gathers her Churches in indiscriminate masses, by par- 
ishes and nations ; thus confounding the Church and the world. Christ enjoins 
the duty of private judgment ; Prelacy denies even the right. Christ enjoins us to 
call no man master, but to search the Scriptures ; Prelacy denies that the Bible 
alone is a safe or sufficient guide ; it binds us to the traditions and interpretations 
of men. Christ forbids his disciples to be brought under the yoke of bondage, by 
subjecting themselves to the ordinances and commandments of men ; Prelacy frames 
her canons, prescribes her ceremonies, garments, and postures ; issues her ordi- 
nances, and if any man will not be subject to these, he shall have no part nor lot in 
the Church. Christ says, "Tell it to the Church." No, says Prelacy, " Tell it to 
the Bishop." Christ bids us depart from an apostle or an angel from Heaven 
when they preach another Gospel ; Prelacy forbids us to depart from the Bishop, 
though he be a limb of Antichrist ; nay, she draws her life-blood from such a suc- 
cession, and counts it her virtue and her glory. Christ is jealous over his people, 
and fears "lest by any means, as the Serpent beguiled Eve," so their minds should 
be " corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" Christ's Gospel is jealous over 
them who are tempted to rely on forms, and holy days ; "lam afraid of you; you 
observe days, and months, and times, and years ;" Prelacy disfigures the whole cal- 
endar with Saints' days, Angels' days, Lent, Ember days, and other arrangements of 
" voluntary will worship ;" she prepares her forms, and canons, and rituals, and 
robes, and thinks the simplicity that is in Christ, too simple and bald ; and betters it 
much, she supposes, by ceremonials and observances of her own devising. 

Suppose a company of the primitive disciples could come back, and by some 
means stumble upon the LITURGY of the Episcopal Church; turning over its 
pages they read such titles as these : " The Circumcision" " Fifth Sunday after 
Epiphany" " Fourth Sunday in Advent," " Septuagesima Sunday," " Fifth Sunday in 
Lent" " Monday before Easter" " Good Friday" "Easter Even" " Tuesday in Easter 
week," Whitsunday," " Trinity Sunday," " St. Stephen's day," " The Innocents' day," 
' Annunciation of 'the Blessed Virgin Mary" "St. Peter's day" " ST. MICHAEL AND 
ALL ANGELS,"'" St. Simon and St.Jude" "All Saints' day" and so on. and so on. 

What a strange spectacle would all this be to these old disciples! Well might 
they inquire, " What does this mean ? Where, in the name of wonder, did you get 
all these ? Lent, Saints' days, Angels' days T' Why, this is what Paul meant 
when he said to some of our neighbors of old, " I am afraid of you ; you observe 
days, and seasons, and months, and years." Who could wonder, if these ancient dis- 
ciples, reading here about " St. Michael's day, and all angels" should call for the old 
epistle which they used to hear read at Colosse ; and laying their finger on the 16th 
verse should read thus : " Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat or drink, or in 
respect of a, holy day" " Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary hu- 
mility and worshipping of angels!" " Wherefore, if ye be dead with Christ from the 
rudiments of the world, why, as living in the world, are ye SUBJECT TO ORDI- 
NANCES, * * after the COMMANDMENTS OF MEN, (touch not, taste not, 
handle not), Which things have indeed a show of wisdom, in will-worship, and hu- 
mility, and neglecting of the body, not in any honor, to the satisfying of the flesh." 
How strange, too, it would appear to these ancient Christians, to turn to the table 
in the front of the Prayer- Book, and see the " Church" gravely giving out "Les- 
sons " from the APOCRYPHA, to be read as portions of the Word of God. 


into the organization both of the state and general conventions 
in this country ; but they are unlike the same system anywhere 
else in the world, and inconsistent with its fundamental princi- 
ples. They arose from the necessity of making the system, in 
some degree, conformable to the popular sentiments and institu- 
tions of the American people ; and they were unwillingly adopted 
by the staunch Prelatists of the day. 

The Prelatical principles are truly set forth by Mr. Chapin in his 
recent work on the Primitive Church. Whoever will consult 
that work (which, in Connecticut at least, is regarded as a 
standard work on Episcopacy), will find (p. 175) that he gives 
to Bishops "exclusively," "the power to judge in the Church." 
(p. 175, and p. 32.) He makes them not only Christ's ministers 
but Christ's "representatives" (p. 33), maintaining that Christ 
has " made over, or committed to them, as by devise or bequest, the 
kingdom which the Father had appointed or committed to him" 
"that they might sit on thrones" * * * " judging (in a judicial 
sense) * * the Church." (pp. 173, 174.) All this he builds upon 
what he calls the Apostolic commission (in the sense of commis- 
sion to the rank and office of Apostle), viz. " As the Father hath 
sent me, even so send I you." A plain Christian would find 
here no commission to an official rank, but a commission to ex- 
ecute an important ivork, to act as Christ's servants, to carry his 
Gospel, and proclaim his grace. But in the transforming hands of 
Prelacy, this rises into a Prelatical commission, creating an order 
of viceroys and vicegerents ! Our author argues at length that the 
" even so" refers (not to the sending) but to the official rank and 
headship of Christ; that the Bishops are vested with the RANK and 
PREROGATIVES WHICH CHRIST HELD as head and sovereign of 
the Church! This he draws out into formal particulars of 
"powers granted in this commission" 1. Of preaching. 2. Of 
baptizing'. 3. The power " of admitting to, or rejecting from the 
Church." 4. Of ordaining'. 5. Of kingly authority like that of 
Ctyrist. 6. (In his own words), " CHRIST had power to forgive 
sins, and he gave authority to his Apostles to absolve and remit 
the sins of repenting sinners." 7. Sovereign power of judging 
the Church, in a judicial sense. The sum of the whole view is, 


Apostles; and that sovereignty the Bishops NOW HOLD. The 
" EVEN so send I you," he holds, conveys all. " The commis- 
sion as it here reads," says he (p. 171), " is one of the most im- 
portant things of which we can conceive, yet the rule of construc- 
tion furnished by the Scriptures, tends rather to enlarge than to 
limit the powers granted in it" Surely if ever the Pope claimed 


more than this, or made himself more the " Vicar and Vicege- 
rent of Jesus Christ," than is here claimed for a Protestant Dio- 
cesan Bishop, I know not where to find that more extravagant 
claim. Surely our Diocesans are not chargeable with making 
claims too modest or moderate ! 

Thus, the Church is made no more a republic, but a sovereign- 
ty, tied to an exclusive and indefeasible succession. The world 
has recently seen how these claims are carried out in practice. 
Bishop Onderdonk of New York claims as Bishop, sovereign 
and divine right to control and overrule the action of a delibera- 
tive assembly, whose whole constitution and organization and 
functions are a matter of conventual arrangement. By virtue 
of this divine right he shouts, "Sit down, sir; not a word, sir;" 
and the assembly reverently obey their master ! Sixty clergy- 
men go in procession to congratulate him and to thank him for 
his manful vindication of his divine prerogatives; and then 
kneel down and receive his Apostolical benediction in return ! 
In his address to his convention, every inch a Bishop, he denies 
that the clergy, and pre-eminently that the Bishop, owes " any 
responsibility to the Church as a body." In the Church, he 
maintains that "Responsibility * * unlike that of human organiza- 
tions, is toward concentration, not diffusion." " Power and pre- 
rogative in the Church came from Christ to ihe first order in the 
ministry ; THENCE to the lower orders, and to the brethren and 
laity of the Church. As the last gave no power nor prerogative, 
it is difficult to conceive how they can demand responsibility to 
them as a right" * * " The primary powers of the Church, then, 
are not diffused, but concentrated ; they are NOT IN THE MEMBERS, 
but Z/ie.HEAD." This is not merely the statement of Prelatical 
principles, by the head of the first Diocese in these United States ; 
but it is a correct statement of the principle, held and avowed by 
the universal Prelacy of the world. That is, The Church is no 
republic, but a monarchy ; a monarchy not of the people, nor by 
the people, but of Divine right, indefeasible, and with no re- 
sponsibility to the people ; but only a mutual responsibility of 
the several sovereigns of the "one body," to the sovereigns in 

" A popular election to the ministry," says the Bishop of Con- 
necticut, " derives not the least support from the Scriptures. * * 
There is no other Scriptural foundation for the sacred ministry, 
than that which is contained in the divine commission of the 
Apostles. From them the authority is derived through the suc- 
cession of Apostolic Bishops down to the present time." 

From these dreary principles of spiritual despotism- let us turn 
once more to the republican features of the churches organized 
by the Apostles. These churches had officers, which were to be 


regarded and observed, in their proper sphere, as much as the 
officers of any other republic. But the manner of their ruling 
was not to be as " Lords over God's heritage ;" " Whosoever 
will be chief among you," said the Saviour, " let him be your 

The Apostles themselves gave several striking illustrations of 
their regard for popular rights. The first public act of the Church, 
after our Lord's ascension, was the choice of an Apostle in the 
place of Judas. Peter stands up in the midst of the disciples 
the number of names together was about one hundred and twenty 
and proposes the matter. The election is made by the body 
of the Church. 

Here is the strongest possible case. If the people are ever to 
be passed by, in the appointment of their ministers, surely it 
should be so here. Yet this is done by a popular election, and 
that, in the very presence, and at the instance of the Apostles 
themselves : and the Holy Ghost records it for our instruction in 
such matters, if any instruction is given on the subject. How 
much more is this rule to be regarded in the appointment of an 
ordinary minister ? 

Attempts have been made to set aside the plain record of facts 
in the first chapter of the Acts. Slater, among others, deems it 
necessary for the cause of Prelacy (as indeed it is) to overturn 
the commonly received and natural interpretation of this simple 
narrative. He contends that Peter is addressing the Apostles, 
and not the brethren ; and that the Apostles not the brethren 
made the choice. I am willing to refer the reader to the record 
for himself without one word of comment. For the satisfac- 
tion of those who believe in the Fathers, it is sufficient to ad- 
duce authority which good prelatists may not gainsay : Chry- 
sostom says, " Peter did everything here with the common con- 
sent. * * He left the judgment to the multitude."* 

Cyprian confirms the exposition of Chrysostom.f 

The appointment of Deacons was suggested by the Apostles, 
as it was fit thp.t inspiration should direct what officers were to 

* " The judicious HOOKER," vol ii., p. 122, sneers at " the pretended right of the 
people to elect their ministers before the Bishop may lawfully ordain ;" and declares 
that by his arguments against a popular election " is drowned whatsoever the peo- 
ple, under any pretence or color, may seem to challenge, about admission and 
choice of the pastors that shall feed their souls." 

Slater (p 111) thinks that "reason, common sense, and experience, go against 
popular elections ;" and that " the will of a few select ones [prelates] is safer than 
the votes of a mixed multitude ;" declares that there are " no footsteps of it [popu 
lar elections] in the Holy code of Christ's laws ;" and that " not this man but 
Barabbas is a tremendous instance of a popular election in the most eminent con 
gregation of the only church of God then amongst men." He forgets to tell us 
what hand the " Chief Priests" had in exciting this tumult, and in rejecting Christ. 
Would it have been any better had it bee* left to the Chief Priest alone ? 

t Coleman. 


be established in the Church ; but the election was by the peo- 
ple. The record is in Acts vi. 

The same appears to have been the mode of electing Elders, 
or Pastors. Paul and Barnabas (Acts xiv), passing through an, 
extensive district of country, "ordained them Elders in every 
church" Immediately upon this word ordained, there arises 
before the mind of Prelacy a vision of some sacred rite, the com- 
munication of some ghostly virtue or power. But in the original, 
the word is the one in common use to denote an election by the 
suffrages of the people. The Greeks gave a popula/ vole by 
raising the hand: and hence their word vote, or elect, is a com- 
pound one of %EIQ, the hand, and -cewto, to lift. Thus Demosthe- 
nes says, " The people e/e^oTovet, voted in my proposals ;" i. e. 
gave their vote by lifting- the hand. Every tyro in classic Greek 
will remember the fable of the birds assembling to elect a king ; 
where the same word is used in the case of one who thought 
himself worthy TO BE ELECTED. Birds have no hands to lift, but 
the word was so common that it came to signify an election in 
any mode. So Thucydides says, " They were at an election" 
ZGI.QOTOVM. Cicero refers to this manner of voting among the 
Greeks : " Their manner of voting is known, they lift up the 
hand." The same word is used (ytiyoTOvrfittrtt?) in 2 Cor. viii. 
19, where Paul speaks of one who was " chosen of the Church" 
to travel with " this grace" (another instance of popular manage- 
ment of Church concerns). Here the same word is used as that 
where it is said that Paul and Barnabas ordained: but surely in 
the present instance Prelatists will not contend that the Churches 
conveyed a mystical grace, or performed a ghostly ceremony of 
ordination ; they simply chose these men. How then can the 
same word mean any more when it is said that Paul and Barna- 
bas ordained? 

The same word %SIQOTOVSM is used in the same sense by the 
Fathers. Ignatius says to the Philadelphians, " It will become 
you, as the Church of God, zetgoTovijaat to choose some deacon to 
go there ;" again, " That your Church appoint, x^O **! some 
worthy delegates."* 

This throws light upon the nature of the ordination performed 
by Paul and Barnabas. They caused elders to be appointed, or, 
as in the margin of the English translators, " When with lifting 
up of hands they had chosen them." TyndaVs translation reads, 
" And when they had ordained them seniors by election in every 
congregation." The ancient French version reads, " And after 
having by common suffrages ordained elders." Beza reads, "And 
when they had by suffrages created elders." 

Nothing in the record refers to any ceremony of consecration', 

* Coleraan, p. 58 


nothing refers to the modern sense of ministerial ordination ; 
though Prelacy is compelled to hang a mountain weight, upon 
the notion that the word ordained here, can mean nothing but a 
mystical ceremony of ordination. 

The same remark applies with equal force to the passage in 
Titus i. 5, " Thou shouldest ordain elders in every city." The 
word translated ordain has no imaginable reference to any cere- 
mony or act of consecration ; in the original it is Jtaiaarrja^g the 
most general word possible for establish (that thou shouldest 
establish elders in every city), without any possible reference to any 
particular mode of doing it ; least of all any ceremonial consecra- 
tion. Doubtless there was a mode, or perhaps several modes ; 
but the Holy Ghost has not seen fit to allude to any in this con- 
nection. The presumption is, that whatever else was done, the 
chief thing consisted, as in the case of Paul and Barnabas, in 
calling the people to a popular vote. 

It is amusing to see the immense weight that Episcopacy 
tries to hang upon such a peg as the word ordain, in our version 
of the Scriptures. It has not there the modern technical sense, 
but is the common rendering of several different words, none of 
them referring to an act of consecration like a modern ordination. 
No sooner does Prelacy fix its eyes upon that word, than images 
of ghostly virtue, ghostly power, consecration, awful mysteries, 
conveyed by an awful succession, rise to her view. But on 
examining the word in Titus i. 5, we find the same as that 
used (Luke xii. 14) where the Saviour says, " Who made rne 
a judge or a divider over you?" Surely here is no reference to 
a mystical consecration. The same is used Rom. v. 19, " By 
one man's disobedience many were made sinners." Surely it 
was no Apostolic consecration, no mystic ceremony of ordination, 
to make men sinners ! Yet Episcopacy must hold so, or she 
must drop from this peg on which she has hung so long, and 
with such a feeling of security. 

It is admitted that the power of electing their own officers was 
gradually, and at length entirely stolen away from the people by 
a grasping hierarchy, till the last semblance of the popular rights 
was lost. Yet it was a long time ere they were wholly lost. 
Clement of Rome, A. D. 96, speaks of the appointment of minis- 
ters with the approbation of the whole Church, as among the regu- 
lations of the Apostles.* Cyprian, A. D. 258, says, " The peo- 
ple * * ought to separate themselves from a wicked bishop, nor 
mix themselves with the worship of a sacrilegious priest. For 
they principally have the power of electing' worthy ministers and 
of rejecting the unworthy; which thing itself we see descends 
from divine authority." As late as A. D. 437, Ambrose of Milan 

* Coleman. 


was elected by the people, of their own accord, by acclamation : 
Martin of Tours, A. D. 375 : Chrysostom at Constantinople, A. 
D. 398. But there is no need to multiply proofs. Even Slater 
admits (p. 77) and uses the fact in argument, that "all the breth- 
ren met together in the Church to choose a Bishop, in the 4th, 
5th, and 6th centuries." 

The accurate historian Mosheim thus states the conclusion to 
which his own mind came after a most thorough investigation. 
" In these primitive times, * * the highest authority was in the 
people, or the whole body of 'Christians ; for even the Apostles 
themselves inculcated by their example, that nothing' of moment 
was to be done or determined but with the knowledge and consent 
of the brotherhood" * * * * " The people did everything that is 
proper for those in whom the supreme power of the community 
is vested."* 

Neander,. the most distinguished ecclesiastical historian of the 
present day, says, " Each individual Church which had a Bishop 
or Presbyter of its own, assumed to itself the form and rights of 
a little distinct republic or commonwealth ; and with regard to 
its internal concerns, was wholly regulated by a code of laws, 
that, if they did not originate with, had at least received the 
sanction of the people constituting such Church.f" 

I need not pursue this part of the subject further. " Power is 
always stealing from the many to the few." Favors granted to 
the ministers of metropolitan and other important towns, were 
soon demanded as inherent prerogatives. Step by step, corrup- 
tion and despotism crept stealthily on. Moderators and minis- 
ters of large towns grew into Prelates -into archbishops, patri- 
archs ; till the apex was at length crowned by a Pope. 

We see what principles are worth. The lessons drawn from 
the history of our fathers are corroborated by the history of more 
ancient times : both show the importance of the principles for 
which our fathers stood. 

Once more we are invited to enter the path of Prelacy, and of 
the incipient corruptions of the Man of Sin. The beggarly ele- 
ments of ancient despotism and superstition are again stalking 
forth, and striving, with " high swelling words," with lordly 
claims, and contemptuous abuse of all who refuse to receive their 
yoke, to make their way once more to the empire of the world. 
It is not to be disguised that the battle of the Reformation is once 
more to be fought with those who once gloried in the style of 
Protestant, but who are now beginning to be weary of the 

* In Punchard. t In Coleman. 



Extraordinary functions. Men called to a special work. Evangelists. 
Deacons. Bishops. Presbyters, or Pastors. Singular error of the 
Prayer-Book. Apostles ; their office ; requisite endowments. 

WE read, Eph. iv. 11, that " Christ gave some, apostles ; and 
some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and 
teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the 
ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." 

In 1 Cor. xii. 28, that " God hath set some in the Church ; 
first, apostles ; secondarily, prophets; thirdly teachers ; after that 
miracles ; then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities 
of tongues." 

^ Here are men discharging some eight sorts of functions ; none 
pretend these are eight orders of permanent officers in the Church. 
Some of these powers were adapted to the special and miracu- 
lous establishment of the Gospel. " Diversities of tongues," 
" gifts of healings," " miracles ;" there were none to discharge 
\ these functions after the Apostolic age. These may therefore be 
dismissed from our present inquiry. 

Evangelists, as such, are men specially called to a special 
work ; but. nowhere recognized as officers attached to any 
church. They were men sent to preach where Churches were 
not formed ; or sent to complete the organization and arrange- 
ment of Churches where anything was wanting. Thus Philip, 
originally a deacon, afterwards styled Philip the Evangelist, is 
found in the capacity of Evangelist attached to no Church, but 
preaching and baptizing in unevangelized places (Acts xxi. 8). 
Thus Timothy, 2 Tim. iv. 5, is exhorted to " do the work of an 
evangelist" His work is on all hands agreed to be the same 
with that, of Titus, who was left in Crete, that he might " set in 
order the things that were wanting, and ordain elders in every 
city :" the churches being not as yet fully organized. 

As Timothy was called to do the work of an Evangelist, it is 
plain that he was not regarded as an Apostle; since Paul makes 
the two offices distinct :. " some Apostles, some prophets, some 


Evangelists" If Timothy had been regarded as an Apostle, it 
would have been said to him, " Do the work of an Apostle." 

The officers recognized by the Epistles as permanently attach- 
ed to the several Churches, are BISHOPS and DEACONS, the Bishops 
being also styled Elders [Presbyters], and Pastors. Thus, Paul 
writes " To all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, 
with the BISHOPS and DEACONS." Had there been a third, fourth, 
or fifth order of officers attached to the Church, he would not 
have passed them by. So in 1 Tim. iii. he sets down the quali- 
fications requisite for the officers of the several Churches ; and 
specifies only two sorts, Bishops and Deacons. He makes no 
allusion to the existence of any other. 

In 1 Tim. v. 17, Paul says, " Let the elders that rule well be 
counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in 
word and doctrine" From this many infer that there were 
elders who rule, but who do not labor in word and doctrine ; 
i. e. RULING ELDERS. In this conclusion the early Churches of 
New England agreed with the Presbyterians ; but they attribut- 
ed to the ruling elders different functions ; such as are not incon- 
sistent with retaining the power of discipline in the body of the 
Church. In their polity, the ruling elder was a sort of select-man 
to look after the affairs of Church rule and discipline, and to 
present them in due form for the adjudication of the Church. 

In addition to these officers. Episcopacy maintains that their 
DIOCESAN BISHOPS are official successors of the Apostles ; and 
in reality Apostles ; only having, for modesty's sake, assumed 
the name Bishop; which was, in the days of the original Apos- 
tles, exclusively appropriated to the second order the elders, 
presbyters, or pastors. These claims of Diocesan Bishops we 
entirely deny ; maintaining the office of Diocesan Bishops to be 
an entire corruption and usurpation, and one fraught with im- 
mense mischief to the Church of God. The reasons we shall 
give in the proper place. In the meantime, let us look more 
particularly at the unquestionably permanent officers of every 


These were appointed, Acts vi., for the special purpose of at- 
tending to the ordinary secular affairs of the Church ; and for 
the very reason that the Apostles might give themselves " con- 
tinually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word" The conclu- 
sion is inevitable, that the deacon's work is not to preach. The 
office is permanent. There are deacons attached permanently 
to each particular Church ; and those Churches have other offi- 
cers to act as pastors and teachers. 

In all these respects, Prelacy, according to her usual custom, 
sets herself to alter and subvert the arrangements set down in 


the "Word of God ; she attaches the deacon permanently to no 
Church ; she makes him a preacher, and sends him wandering 

It is no justification of this course to allege, that Philip preach- 
ed and baptized ; that was not the work for which he was ap- 
pointed a deacon : when he preached and baptized, the sacred 
record expressly styles him an Evangelist. 


That these were " Elders who labor in word and doctrine," 
all agree. Among the requisite qualifications set down for the 
office are these (1 Tim. iii.) : He must be " blameless," " vigi- 
lant," " sober," " of good behavior," " given to hospitality," " apt to 
teach," " one that ruleth well his own house, having his children 
in subjection with all gravity. For if a man know not how to 
rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Church of 
God ?" Moreover he must be one " Holding fast the faithful 
word, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort, and 
to convince gainsay ers " (Tit. i. 9). 

The requisite qualifications point out the duties of the Bishop, 
Pastor, or Elder ; for these terms are indiscriminately applied to 
the same office and person. As an office bearer, he is styled 
ELDER ; as charged with rule, he is called Bishop (overseer, su- 
perintendent) ; as charged both with oversight and instruction, 
he is styled Pastor. These terms are in the New Testament 
indiscriminately applied to the same person and office. Thus, 
1 Peter i. 1-4, to the Churches " throughout" the several prov- 
inces of Asia Minor : " The elders which are among you, I ex- 
hort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of 
Christ. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking 1 the 
oversight thereof." The elders (presbyters) he exhorts to feed 
the flock (original noipaweivio do the work of a shepherd or 
pastor) ; taking the oversight (emaxonowTsg doing the work of 
bishop). The Elder, then, is the same as Pastor, or Bishop, 
throughout all the Churches of Asia Minor. Dr. Scott makes 
the following just remark on the passage : " This must be allow- 
ed decisive testimony that no express distinction between pres- 
byters and bishop was, at the time the Apostle wrote, established 
in the Church." 

Again (Acts xx.), Paul being at Miletus, sends for the Elders 
(Presbyters) of the Church at Ephesus, and says to them ; " take 
heed therefore * * unto all the flock over which the Holy 
Ghost has made you overseers " (emcrxonovg Bishops) ; to feed 
the flock of God {no^ta^en to do the work of shepherd, or Pas- 
tor}. The two Apostles, Peter and Paul, entirely agree in mak- 
ing the Bishop, the Presbyter, the Pastor, ONE AND THE SAME 



Again Paul (Titus i. 5) says " and ordain elders (Presbyters) 
in every city." Describing their qualifications, he says, " For a 
Bishop must be blameless ;" the Bishop and the Presbyter are 
one and the same. 

Now that word Bishop, so regularly interchanged with the 
word Presbyter, is in no instance interchanged with the word 
Apostle in the New Testament. It was never, in a solitary in- 
stance, used by the Apostles or their contemporaries, to dignify a 
Diocesan Bishop, or an officer, distinct from, and above, a Pres- 
OF THE PASTORS, OF A CONGREGATION ; never is the name Bishop 
given to a Diocesan, or an Apostle, either by the Apostles, or in 
the Apostolic age. It is absolutely certain, that for a hundred 
years after Christ, the name Bishop, whether used by Apostles 
or Fathers, signified the Pastor of a Church ; never a persou 
holding a degree above that office. 

And yet, I apprehend, that till quite recently, the mass of the 
common people, who have entertained Episcopal views, have 
rested upon the name Bishop, in the New Testament. Till re- 
cently the mass of Episcopalians have not dreamed that their 
Diocesans were not Bible Bishops, but veritable Apostles. The 
views of their learned men were confused and contradictory. 
The learned Dr. Hammond maintained that all who bore the title 
of Bishops or Presbyters in the New Testament, were Prelates ; 
and that none of the second order were ordained during the 
Apostolic history. Dodwell on the other hand maintained, that 
Bible Bishops were simple Presbyters ; and that no Prelates were 
ordained till in the second century. Owen observed, two centu- 
ries ago, that " the most learned advocates of Prelacy begin to 
grant, that in the whole New Testament, Bishops and Presby- 
ters and Elders are every way the same persons in the same of- 
fice," (vol. xx., p. 394). At the present day, all well-informed 
Episcopalians fully admit this to be true. Thus Bishop Onder- 
donk, in his work on Episcopacy, says (p. 12), " It is proper to 
advert to the fact, that the name Bishop, which now designates 
the highest grade of the ministry, is not appropriated to that of- 
fice in the Scripture. That name is there given to the middle 
order, or Presbyters ; and all that we read in the New Testament 
concerning Bishops (including, of course the words "Overseers," 
and " oversight " which have the same derivation), is to be regard- 
ed as pertaining to the middle grade. * * * It was after the 
Apostolic age that the name Bishop was taken from the second 
order, and appropriated to the first, * * ' * and when we 
find in the New Testament the name Bishop, we must regard it 
as meaning the Bishop of a parish, or a Presbyter. The Bishop 
of a diocese, or the highest grade of the ministry, we must seek 


there, not under that name, and INDEPENDENTLY OF ANY NAME AT 
ALL." * * " The word Bishop" " in Scripture, means a PRES- 
BYTER, properly so called." 

With this view, Chapman, Chapin, Bowden, and all modern 
Episcopal writers fully agree. 

This, however, is a point in which the framers of the Prayer- 
Book were unfortunately " overseen." In searching the Scrip- 
ture for something to read at the ordination of a Diocesan Bish- 
op, they could find nothing to the purpose at all, save one or two 
passages which use the word Bishop ; and in which, it is now 
unfortunately discovered, that the word signifies no diocesan at 
all, but the simple Bishop or Pastor of a single Church ; a mere 
presbyter. But there it stands, as the Epistle to be read at the 
ordination of a Diocesan : " This is a true saying, if a man de- 
sireth THE OFFICE OF A BISHOP, he desireth a good work.' 
" A BISHOP then must be blameless." Or as a substitute for 
this, the passage in Acts xx. is set down, " From Miletus Paul 
sent to Ephesus, and called the Elders of the Church ;" " And said, 
take heed * * to the flock which the Holy Ghost has made 
you overseers^' (original enurxonovs Bishops). And our good 
Diocesans at the ordination of a brother diocesan in full canon- 
icals and with all gravity, continue to read these passages, as 
though the word Bishop here meant (as they know it does not) 
a diocesan bishop, and not a simple presbyter ! Why do they 
do this '? Why do the people suffer it ? Are they willing to 
pass this word Bishop, knowing it to be, for their purposes, base 
coin ? or are they to be slaves, in perpetuity, to an old form, 
which they know is in relation to the purpose for which they 
use it a falsehood ? or is it because, forsooth, some Scripture 
must be had, and they may as well use this for want of a bet- 
ter? Surely, surely, if a Diocesan be such an essential corner- 
stone and pillar to the very existence of a Church, some Scrip- 
ture ought to be found which can, by some decent pretext, be 
used with some pertinency at his ordination. Surely, surely, if 
Apostles had successors, it is wonderful that the record should 
be made so abundantly of inferior officers, but no record of 
the ordination of a successor Apostle ! If there is such a record, 
pray let us have it in the Prayer-Book. If there is none, then tell 
the people plainly at such an ordination, that a deed is doing, for 
which you find no warrant or example to read them from the 
Word of God. 


These needed qualifications possessed by none since their 
day. They were appointed, in their peculiar office, to a work 
which was finished when they died. Their number was limited. 


Their office was special, peculiar and personal. They could 
have no successors. 

1. They were personal witnesses of the resurrection of Christ: 
it was essential that, as such, they should have seen the Lord. 

Christ, speaking of his death and resurrection, said to the 
Eleven, and " Ye are witnesses of these things." When one 
was to be chosen in place of Judas, to fill up the number twelve, 
Peter said (Acts i.), " Wherefore of those men who have compa- 
nied ivikh us all the time that the Lord Jesus Christ went in and 
out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day 
when he was taken from us, must one be ordained to be A WIT- 
NESS WITH us of his resurrection?" Here was one special quali- 
fication and work of the Twelve. Many were personally cog- 
nizant of the facts pertaining to our Lord's resurrection ; but out 
of that number must one be ordained, to be with the eleven, a 
witness (a special official witness) of these things. 

The case of Paul corroborates this view, " The God of our 
Fathers hath chosen thee that thou shouldest know his will, and 
see that Just one, and shouldst hear the voice of his mouth. For 
thou shalt be HIS WITNESS unto all men, of what thou HAST 
SEEN AND HEARD." Accordingly, Paul himself says, " Am I 
not an Apostle ? HAVE I NOT SEEN JESUS CHRIST ?" Will 
any modern Diocesan venture to abide a similar test of Apostle- 

2. Apostles, as such, were endowed with miraculous powers. 
This Christ promised them ; this they received. If it be said 
that others besides Apostles wrought miracles, the answer is 
plain: others may: but he who claims to be an Apostle, MUST. 
For Paul says (2 Cor. xii. 12) ; " Truly the SIGNS OF AN APOSTLE 
were wrought among you in signs and wonders and mighty 
deeds" Those who pretend to hold the Apostolic office at pre- 
sent, should in all fairness be required to show the signs ; other- 
wise it may be said concerning them : " And hast tried them 
that say they are Apostles, and are not ; but hast found them liars." 

3. The Apostolic office was peculiar, inasmuch as, like the 
Prophets, they were inspired teachers of Divine Truth. The 
Holy Spirit was promised, to guide them into all truth, and to 
bring all things to their remembrance. On this ground, their 
writings are received as records of the Holy Ghost. If others 
may be inspired, Apostles must be ; or they are false Apostles. 
Surely our modern Diocesans cannot claim this prerogative; and 
if they should, some of their writings constitute " another Gospel," 
the most trustworthy of their own number being judges. 

4. The Apostles were a limited number ; the " Twelve Apos- 
tles" The case of Paul specially and miraculously called and 
qualified, "like one born out of due time," is the only exception. 


The appointment of Matthias was not to continue the succession, 
but to supply a substitute to one of the Twelve. Even if they might 
have successors, those successors should not exceed the number 
twelve. But, besides filling a vacancy in the original number, there 
is no record of appointing a single successor. When James 
was slain "|who is claimed as Prelate of the most important See 
on earth), then we should naturally look for the appointment of 
a successor, if successor there was to be. But there is none. 
Even down to the close of Revelation, we find allusions made to 
The Twelve. The Holy Jerusalem (Rev. xxi.) has " Twelve 
foundations ; and in them the names of the TWELVE APOSTLES 

5. When the twelve were dead, the name, Apostle, was applied 
to no man on earth. No man claimed to be an Apostle. No 
man pretended to hold their office for a long time. The name 
and the office vanished away. Nor has there been a time since, 
when Prelates would dare to assume the official title, though 
they claim the office. The common sense of Christendom is 
against it. Apostle Brownell, of Connecticut ! Apostle Doane, 
of New Jersey ! How it sounds ! Who ever heard, in Scrip- 
tural times, of Apostles of particular Dioceses ? WJiitting-ham, 
Apostle of Maryland ! Onderdonk, Apostle of Pennsylvania ! 
Onderdonk, Apostle of New York ! The very style is so revolting 
and absurd, that to adopt it would be death to the prelatical 
claims. But if they in reality hold the office, they should, in all 
conscience assume the name. 



Argument from the name. Epaphroditus, Jftdronicus, Junia. Argu- 
ment from the powers exercised. Bishop Onderdonk's argument 
examined. Laying on of the hands of the Presbytery. 

DIOCESAN Bishops claim to be Apostles ; successors of the Twelve 
in their peculiar office. Bible Bishops they .confess they are not ; 
if they are .not veritable Apostles they are nothing. We have 
seen the Apostolic office to be, in its ver$*iature, special and tem- 
porary ; that though a vacancy was . filled to complete the 
number twelve, yet no record was made of the appointment of 
any successor ; which appointment, in tfre Episcopal scheme, 
ought to have been one of the most important things, and to have 
appeared most fully and minutely on the sacred pages. We 
have, therefore, a right to demand of any who claim this office, 
to show that they have seen the Lord, that they are inspired, and 
that they can work miracles. These are " signs of an Apostle," 
which no one who claims the office should omit to furnish. 

We will, however, attend farther to the Episcopal arguments. 
It is alleged ; 

1. That others besides the twelve, and besides Paul, were called 
Apostles ; and that therefore both the office and the name were com- 
mon ; and if so, then the office was communicable and permanent. 

Thus Bishop Onderdonk, in his work, " Episcopacy tested by 
Scripture," contends that Sylvanus and Timothy were called 
Apostles, and that, " Besides Andronicus and Junia, others could 
be added to the list" Epaphroditus and Barnabas, it is contended, 
are so added. 

This is nothing to the purpose, unless it can be shown that 
they are called Apostles in the peculiar and official sense. Even 
Bishop Onderdonk elsewhere argues largely that nothing is to 
be determined by the name ; that the officers, of which he is a 
successor, are to be sought for in the New Testament, " inde- 
pendently of any name at all." Here the exigencies of Prelacy 
demand that something should be made of a mere name. 

Unfortunately for Prelacy, however, the word APOSTLE in its 
primary and common meaning, signified one sent, a messenger ; 


and is so used and so translated frequently in the New Testa- 
ment. Thus, certain brethren of the Church who accompa- 
nied Titus when he was sent by Paul to Corinth, are called 
anoawloi extdrjaiuv (literally Apostles of the Churches) which our 
translators have very properly rendered " messengers of the 
Churches" 2 Cor. viii. 23. Were these messengers official 
Apostles? Yet there is precisely the same ground for contend- 
ing that they were so, as for contending that Epaphroditus 
was an official Apostle. In Phil. ii. 25, Paul says, " I sup- 
posed it necessary to send you Epaphroditus, my brother 
and companion in labor, and fellow soldier, but your mes- 
senger" (original, anoawlov, the word for Apostle). Bishop 
Onderclonk would correct our English translation, by making it 
read, " your Apostle" Mr. Chapin, too, argues at length that 
Epaphroditus must have been the official Apostle over the Church 
at Philippi ! No doubt it is very important to the cause of Epis- 
copacy to make him so ; but the effort is unavailing, he was a 
simple messenger sent out by that Church, not an Apostle reigning 
over them. Our translation needs no mending here. An official 
Apostle of a single Church ! Thevery idea is preposterous. Which 
one of the twelve Appstles ever held the office of Diocesan ? Dr. 
Barrow, one of the ablest divines of any age, has not only largely 
and conclusively argued that the Apostles had no successors in 
their office, and could have none, but particularly with regard to 
this point, has remarked, that to make Epaphroditus Apostle of 
the Church at Philippi, and Timothy Apostle of the Church at 
Ephesus, is like "setting the king to be Lord Mayor of London, 
or the Archbishop of Canterbury to be Vicar of Pancras." 

Besides, Paul, writing an official Epistle to the people of 
another man's Diocese ! that man being an Apostle like himself! 
And Paul, telling that people, that he had SENT their Apostle ! 
Does he ever do so by Apostle Peter, or Apostle John, or James ? 
Bishop Onderdonk argues that we must look for the office inde- 
pendently of any name, and infer the office from what one does. 
On this ground, what is the office of Paul, while he is sending 
other Apostles, writing them letters of instruction, and giving 
them his authoritative charges ; as he does with Epaphroditus, 
Titus and Timothy ? Why, on this ground, if Timothy, Titus 
and Epaphroditus are bishops, Paul at least must be an Arch- 
bishop, or an JrcA-apostle, and so, that office is clearly demon- 
strated on the Episcopal ground, " independently of any name 
at all." 

But it is argued that ANDRONICUS and JUNIA are said to be 
Apostles. They are not even said to be so. The passage referred 
to in proof, is Rom. xvi : 7, " Salute Andronicus and Junta, my 
kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the 


Apostles" (emarifUH sv roicr artoffToloig), i. e. not noted Apostles, as 
the Episcopal argument makes them ; but celebrated among' 
them ; themselves being no Apostles at all. Dr. Scott takes the 
common sense view of the passage : " Well known and esteemed 
by the Apostles" 

What is still more to the purpose is, that this " Apostle Junta" 
who is here made to hold half the weight of Episcopacy on her 
shoulders, was beyond all proper question a woman. Our trans- 
lators accordingly gave the feminine name ; whereas, had they 
supposed Junia a man, they would have made it read not Junia 
but Junius. " Quce videtur fuisse uxor Andronici" says Rosen- 
miiller (" Which [woman] appears to have been the wife of An- 
dronicus"), " well known to the Apostles." 

It so happens that we have proof of this, which Episcopalians 
must not gainsay. Chrysostom, Theophylact, and several other 
Fathers take Andronicus for a man, and Junia for a woman, his 
wife. And both Greeks and Latins actually kept their festival 
on the 17th of May, as husband and wife."* 

One thing further in passing ; Bishop Onderdonk feels so 
much the need of some help to hold up this prop of Episcopacy, 
that he endeavors to lug in Calvin to his aid. After claiming 
these to be veritable official Apostles, he adds, " Calvin allows 4 
Andronicus and Junia to be Apostles ;" and quotes chapter and 
verse, B. iv. C. iii. 5. If you turn to Calvin in that place, you 
will see that instead of allowing Andronicus and Junia to be 
Apostles in the official sense, he affirms the contrary ; expressly 
denying that Apostles were instituted to be of perpetual continu- 
ance in the Church, but that they were only for that age " when 
Churches were to be raised up where none had existed before, or 
were at least to be conducted from Moses to Christ." Then fol- 
lows the passage from which Bishop Onderdonk quotes a part, 
and so grossly mistakes its meaning. Calvin's words are these : 
" So those twelve individuals, whom the Lord chose to promul- 
gate the first proclamation of his Gospel to the world, preceded all 
others in order and dignity. For although according to the 
meaning and etymology of the word all ministers of the Church 
may be called Apostles, because they are all sent by the Lord, 
and are his messengers ; yet as it was of great importance to 
have a certain knowledge of the mission of persons, who were 
to announce a thing new and unheard of before, it was n?cessary 
that those Twelve together with Paul who was afterwards added to 
PECULIAR TITLE. Paul indeed himself gives this NAME to Andro- 
nicus and Jama, who he says- are of note among the Apostles ; 
but when he means to speak with strict propriety, he never applies 

* Dr. Miller on Christian Ministry, p. 110. 


this name except to those of first order that we have mentioned. 
And this is the common usage of the Scripture." Calvin, in- 
stead of saying as Bishop Onderdonk represents, says directly 
the contrary. In his commentary on the passage, Calvin says, 
" It would be absurd to ascribe this great excellence in the pro- 
per sense [Apostleship] to these two believers" [Andronicus and 

Barnabas, also, is alleged to have been an official Apostle like 
one of the Twelve ; because it is said in Acts xiv. 14, " which 
when the Apostles, Barnabas and Paul heard of, &c." There is 
nothing to show that the word Apostles here is used out of its 
common meaning " persons sent," or Missionaries. Barnabas 
is mentioned with such frequency, that had he been numbered 
as an Apostle, in the official sense, it could hardly have failed 
that he should somewhere be recognized as such. But there is 
no remote intimation that he was so considered, unless it be in 
the use of the word (Apostle) in this case. The common (not 
the official) sense of that word is equivalent in some cases to 
Messenger; in others to Missionary. Now, strictly speaking, by 
Missionary, we mean an ordained minister, sent to preach the 
Gospel among the heathen. Our Missionary boards accordingly 
mention such and such persons as missionaries, and such and 
such persons as physicians or teachers. But in the narratives 
of their labors, nothing is more common than to speak of 
them all together as Missionaries. , If a preacher or physician, 
and a teacher, should sail from Hawaii to Oahu, or take a tour 
of either island, it would be said of them, The Missionaries came 
to such and such a place ; the missionaries did so and so. Would 
it do to hang the mountain weight of a Hierarchy upon the as- 
sumption that all of them were ordained preachers, because they 
are together spoken of as the missionaries ? Yet such is the pre- 
cise nature of the Episcopal argument. 

The same remarks apply to the case attempted to be made out 
in 1 Thes. i. 1, compared with ii. 6. " Paul, Sylvanus, and Timo- 
theus " * * * * " Nor of men sought we glory, neither 
of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome 
as the Apostles of Christ" Prelacy assumes that Sylvanus, as 
well as Timotheus, was a veritable Apostle ; forgetting that the 
force of the argument lies wholly in the word, which is com- 
monly used in another sense, and that in the absence of all proof 
that it is used in the official sense here, the argument is not worth 
a straw. Yet, straw as it is, Prelacy is glad to lay it in her foun- 

We are now through with the argument from the name ; and 
have seen, I think, to borrow the words of Bishop Onderdonk 
that " The name is not worth a line of controversy." 


It is argued, 


What is the proof? Timothy and Titus ordained. Timothy 
and Titus (it is said) ruled the clergy. The sum of the argu- 
ment is contained in these words of Onderdonk's Episcopacy 
tested by Scripture (p. 26) ; " Is it not evident, abundantly evi- 
dent, that Timothy had supreme power over the clergy at Ephe- 
sus, and the full right to ordain ? * * * Then, as to Titus, 
examine his powers in the island of Crete. * * To him 

are specified the due qualifications of a Presbyter, Bishop, or 
Elder. His clear credential from the Apostle Paul is, " For this 
cause, I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the 
things that are wanting, and [that thou shouldst] ordain elders in 
every city, as I had appointed thee." * * Again, " a man 
that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, [do thou] 
reject." " Ordination, admonition, and rejection [or degradation 
and excommunication] are all committed to Titus personally. 
The elders, as already seen, had no power to reject those who 
should speak perverse things, or heresy. Titus had that power. 
All this agrees perfectly with the case of Timothy. And no- 
thing like it can be shown anywhere in Scripture of any who 
are there called Elders, or Presbyters. Is it not clear, that the 
recorded powers of Titus make him an officer of a grade supe- 
rior to that which we must assign, resting only on the Sacred 
Record, to such elders? THIS is EPISCOPACY." 

I have copied so much from the work of Bishop Onderdonk, 
because it is the sum of the argument as stated by himself. I 
say the sum. It embodies the POINTS and PRINCIPLES of the 

Neither admitting nor denying for the present, the details on 
which Bishop Onderdonk comes to these conclusions, let us ex- 
amine these points and principles. If the details do not make 
out these, they make out nothing ; if they make them out, they 
cannot go beyond them. Admit therefore, for the present, for 
the sake of argument, that the details justify these principles ; 
the argument is answered, if the points and principles themselves 
are shown to be inconclusive, and the inference to be drawn 
from a total non-sequitur. 

Admitting, then, the whole that is here alleged, it does not 
prove Timothy or Titus to be an Apostle. 

I might urge here, the facts already considered : that these are 
not officially styled Apostles ; it is not pretended that they have 
seen Jesus Christ ; they are not inspired ; they do not show the 
miraculous signs of an Apostle ; they are not like the Twelve, in 


any of the peculiar characteristics that designate an Apostle. 
But let these things pass. 

I say then, that ruling and ordaining are not peculiar to the 
Apostle ship. 

1. Ruling' is not : for admonition and excommunication, as we 
have already seen, instead of being committed to Diocesans, as 
Prelatists falsely claim, are by Christ himself expressly given to 
the Church. Whatever is said of the " rule " of officers, it gives 
them no lordship over God's heritage : it only shows them to be 
possessed of ministerial power; while the authority is in the 

But it is said that Titus and Timothy RULE THE CLERGY ; and 
are therefore of a higher degree ; and if of a higher degree THEY 

I answer (1.) Nothing forbids, that what Paul says about " re- 
ceiving an accusation against an elder " may be a simple in- 
struction concerning the matter of receiving accusations against 
elders, without intending to designate the tribunal which is to try 
or depose them. The same remark applies to the words, " Them 
that sin, rebuke before all :" though it is a mere conjecture that 
this is spoken exclusively of sinning elders. 

(2.) It is assumed that receiving and trying charges against an 
elder, necessarily implies a superiority of rank ; and that an elder 
cannot be tried and deposed without a rank above him to do it. 
False and ridiculous assumption : for among Congregationalists, 
Baptists, Presbyterians, Reformed-Dutch and others, the trial of 
a minister is as easy, as regular, as efficient as it is among Pre- 
latists or Papists ; and yet there is no superior rank to do it. 

And who receive charges and try them among Prelates them- 
selves ? Does it require one of a superior rank to try and depose 
a Diocesan Bishop ? Then must your Bishops be entirely irre- 
sponsible, or else you must have an Archbishop, who can be 
nothing less to you than an irresponsible Pope, having no rank 
above him, that can receive charges against him and bring him 
to trial. So either show us your Pope, or admit that Parity is as 
good as Prelacy for receiving and trying charges against Elders ; 
and that on this ground, neither Timothy nor Titus could be 
either Apostle or Prelate at all. 

The principle that an officer cannot be tried and punished 
without a superior rank above him, draws as deep in civil gov- 
ernment as in ecclesiastical ; in the latter case, it ends in an irre- 
sponsible Pope, in the former it ends in a jure divino monarchy, 
as the everlasting destiny of all civil government. The whole 
argument for Prelacy here, hangs upon a false assumption. 

To this assumption is tacked a Therefore : THEREFORE Tim- 
othy and Titus were of a rank superior to Presbyters. To this 


tt therefore" is fastened a conclusion that does not follow. IF of a 
superior rank THEREFORE an Apostle ! A string of therefores 
is hung upon a false assumption, and from the last point, the 
Bishop leaps to a conclusion that does not hang upon the chain 
at all. The argument would not lose one whit of its logical ac- 
curacy had the last link in the chain read thus : Therefore, 
Timothy was Pope of Rome, and Titus Autocrat of all the Rus- 
sias. And yet, if this logic be not correct (it is one of the 
main pillars of the building) the mighty fabric of Episcopacy 
must tumble to the ground. 

The instructions given to Timothy and Titus concerning the 
matter of Ruling*, therefore, do not prove them Apostles ; and 

2. The instructions given them concerning' ORDINATION do not 
prove them Apostles. 

(1.) Where it is said to TITUS (i. 5), " and ORDAIN elders in every 
city" the word in the original (xonaanjar^) has no possible refer- 
ence to any ceremony or mode of ordination, but is the most 
general of all possible terms for " establish" In the case of Bar- 
nabas and Paul, we have already seen (Acts xiv 23), the ordina- 
tion spoken of was a simple election (x9*&wq*rvrist) 1. e., proba- 
bly, as in the choice of Matthias, they called the people to choose 
elders. A ceremony of induction there probably was, but the 
Holy Ghost appears to think that of too little consequence to put 
on the record, as it is not noted here at all. I have already re 
marked that the word " ordain" in this direction to Titus, is the 
same as that used in the passage " by one man's disobedience 
many WERE MADE sinners" (Rom. v. 19). There is no more 
reference to a mystic ceremony of ordination in the case of Titus, 
than there is of a mystic ordination to make men sinners. 

(2.) The words used to denote the ordination spoken of in the 
New Testament, as if on purpose to pour contempt upon the 
Prelatic notion of conferring grace or office by the mystic virtue 
of ordinaiion, are of the most changeable, various, and vague 
character possible. Thus, where it is said in the case of Mat- 
thias, "must one be ordained" the word is yeyeo-0a*, "must one 
be, or become a witness." Where it is said that Christ is 
" ordained" to be judge of quick and dead (Acts x. 42), the word 
is fyw^vo?, fixed upon, selected, appointed. In Rom. xiii. 1, it is 
said that " The powers that be, are ordained of God," rciay/u^a*, 
ordered, appointed. 

(3.) The civil power is as much ORDAINED of God as the clergy ; 
but does it require a superior rank to ordain [instal in office] a 
civil magistrate ? That is the dream of Legitimists, who hold to 
the divine right and order of kings ; just as it is of Prelatists who 
hold to the succession of the order of bishops. The Legitimists 
would not be able to see how the people could ever confer an 


office which they have not ; all power must flow down from the 
jure divitio monarch, else it could not be a power " ORDAINED OF 
GOD." But whatever Legitimists may think, we doubt not 
that the Governor of Connecticut, or the President of the 
United States, is as much a " Power ordained of God" as any 
other earthly potentate that ever existed. And the Governor or 
President must be ordained before his acts are legal. But does 
it require a superior officer to induct the Governor or the Presi- 
dent ? Why, a simple justice of the peace may ordain the one 
or the other ; and that without any claim to an office superior to 
that of either. 

(4.) The performance of any ceremony of ordination, is no mark 
or peculiarity of Apostleship. In all the instructions of our 
Lord to the Apostles, and in all the commissions he gave them 
he said not one word to them about ordaining. He spoke of 
preaching, teaching, and baptizing, but not of ordaining. Had 
this been their great and peculiar work, it could not have been 
so passed by. With Episcopalians, ordination is something 
mystic and awful. Virtue flows from the ordainer's hands. Or- 
dination is everything. If the ceremony be not performed by the 
hands of one who has received the virtue, or virus, by a good 
conducting medium, or succession, everything is lost, nothing 
is valid ; all who come after that interrupted link, and all who 
depend upon them, are out of the Church and destitute of all 
claim to covenant mercies. Nothing can exceed the care, mi- 
nuteness, and circumstantial pomp with which they make their 
records of the ordination of Bishops. But go to the New Testa- 
ment, and you find nothing of the kind. The ORDINATION of a 
successor of the Apostles ! The New Testament is silent about 
it. Christ said not one word about this (on the Episcopal 
scheme) greatest, most stupendous transaction >the ordaining 
of an Apostle. 

(5.) But it may be said that though the word " ordain," in the 
New Testament, has no reference to any particular ceremony 
like a modern ordination, yet there are passages, which show 
that the induction to office was by the laying on of hands. 

Grant it. By whose hands ? Does the New Testament say 
that it must be by the hands of an Apostle ; so that whoever may be 
supposed to perform the ceremony of ordination, he must be sup- 
posed to be an Apostle? Nothing like it. The only passage 
that bears this reference, and that attributes the act of ordaining 
to an office, attributes it not to the Apostleship, but to the 
Eldership. Thus, 1 Tim. iv. 14, " Neglect not the gift that 
is in thee, which was given then by prophecy, with the lay- 
ing On Of THE HANDS OF THE PRESBYTERY." The hands of 

a " PRESBYTERY" (or collection of elders), therefore, may 


ordain;" and that ordination is Scriptural. Admitting, therefore, 
that so Titus and Timothy ordained ; they ordained by the lay- 
ing on of hands of THE PRESBYTERY, not by virtue of Apostleship. 
The ordaining, therefore, cannot prove them Apostles. 

The shifts and windings to which Prelatists are driven on this 
point, furnish some amusing specimens of the art of shifting off 
the force of arguments, that cannot be met in direct encounter. 
You have heard of the ancient Retiarius, or gladiator of the net ; 
whose weapon was an instrument to entangle his adversary, 
not to meet him in fair and sturdy combat. Bishop Onderdonk, 
on this all essential point of the argument, very strikingly resem- 
bles the ancient gladiator of the net. With regard to this ordi- 
nation of Timothy by the hands of the Presbytery, he first inti- 
mates, that it is no ordination at all ; but the casual designation 
of a person already in orders to a special work. This ground 
he first " submits to the candid judgment of his readers ;" and 
yet shows in the issue that he himself neither rests upon it nor 
believes it. Next, to " meet his non-Episcopal brethren on their 
own ground," he is willing, for argument sake, to admit it to be 
an ordination ; but denies that there was a laying on of the hands 
of any Presbytery ; the word Presbyter?/ meaning Presbyterate^ 
the office to which he was ordained, not a body of Elders. Here 
he quotes Calvin again, to sustain a position which both himself 
and Calvin finally renounce. Next he argues that if it be an or- 
dination, and by Presbyters, then the sort of Elders (or Presby- 
ters) is not designated. (We should have thought, in such a 
case, that it was no matter what sort, provided they were Elders^ 
or Presbyters.) He insists that it might have been a Presbytery 
of Apostles; or at least that an Apostle might have been present, 
from whose hands the virtue of the ordination might have pro- 
ceeded. At last he comes upon the ground where Episcopalians 
commonly rest ; that it was an ordination; that the Presbytery 
was composed of real Presbyters ; and that it is so recognized 
by Paul ; " who,'' he says, " makes the following distinction in 
regard to his own agency and that of others in this supposed or- 
dination ; by the putting on of my hands, WITH the laying 
on of the hands of the Presbytery." Such a distinction, he says 
(p. 22), " may be justly regarded as intimating that the virtue of 
the ordaining act flowed from Paul, while the Presbytery, or the 
rest. of the body, if he was included in it, expressed only con- 

If we follow the steps of Bishop Onderdonk, through the sev- 
eral positions which he assumes, we must come to the following 
conclusions with regard to this ordination of Timothy. It was 
an ordination, and it was not an ordination ; there was a laying 
on of the hands of the Presbytery, and there was not a laying on 


of the hands of the Presbytery J Presbytery means Presbyterate 
and no body of men, and again it means u body of men and no Pres- 
byterate ; the body was made up of Apostles, and it was not 
made up of Apostles, but of Presbyters ; the ordination was by 
the hands of the Presbytery, because perhaps an Apostle or 
Apostles might have been among them ; and again it was not 
by the hands of the Presbytery, the virtue flowed from Paul, 
while the Presbytery only gave consent. Truly, Bishop Onder- 
donk must get out of his own net as he can. No man of his 
unquestionable capacity, in such a studied and deliberate trea- 
tise, would have taken so many inconsistent positions, had he 
seen any firm and inpregnable ground. 

The " BY " and " WITH," two little particles which constitute 
the final ground for Prelacy to rest on here, are in two separate 

Epistles, 1 Tim. iv. 14, [*e emdrjaeMg iuv X eiQuv (with the laying 
on of hands) ; and 2 Tim. i. 6, " That thou stir up the gift 
of God which is in thee by (<?"*) the putting on of my hands." 
Chapin puts the two passages together, and mak'es them read 
thus: "By the putting on of my hands, with the hands of the 
Presbytery. Nothing can be plainer than this," he says, " The 
ordination was by the Apostle, with the concurrence of the 
Presbytery." On this I remark : 

(1.) It admits the act to be an ordination, and the body to be 
composed of simple Presbyters ; since they only concur. 

(2.) It assumes that the two passages refer to the same act ; 
whereas the gift of God by the putting on of Paul's hands might 
have been no appointment to office, but gifts of miraculous power ; 
which Paul, again and again, was the instrument of conferring 
on others by the laying on of his hands. 

(3.) Even admitting the two records to refer to the same act ; 
Paul, in the first, deems it a sufficient account to speak of the 
laying on of the hands of Presbytery. Presbyters, therefore, ar^ 
all that is needed. But : 

(4.) The criticism about meta and dia (pera and Sia) is both 
erroneous and contemptible ; too weak a peg to hang a rush 
upon, and yet here it must bear the mountain weight of Episco- 
pacy, or Episcopacy must tumble to the ground. Dr. J. M. 
Mason so thoroughly exploded this criticism, that it was forty 
years ere Episcopacy ventured to revive it again. " Be it so," 
says Mason, " be it so, that meta and dia are contrasted ; the 
first simply denoting concurrence, and the last the efficient cause, 
Be it so. I open my New Testament and read that " Many- 
signs and wonders were done by (dia) the Apostles. Proceed- 
ing in the narrative, I read that Paul and Barnabas rehearsed all 
things which God had done (meta) WITH them, i. e., in the case 
of miracles wrought by Peter and James, Peter and James 


were the efficient cause, or the conductors of the Divine power : 
but in the case of miracles wrought by Barnabas and Paul, they 
only acted in concurrence ; meta and dia being words used in con- 
trast, to show that the first had power and authority to work mi- 
racles, the last only power to act in concurrence !" 

I do not see but that the Prelatical argument, from the powers 
exercised, dies, though in the last ditch. It has veered and shift- 
ed, and finally betaken itself for shelter in the last resort to sim- 
ple meta and did, which turn out to be no shelter at all ; but after 
every evasion and shift, the brethren of the Church ruled^ and 
Presbyters ordained: nor is the receiving of a complaint against 
an elder, nor the act of ordaining, any mark of Apostleship 
at all. 



Timothy not Diocesan of Ephesus. The Angels of the Churches were 
no Diocesan Bishops. No change of official designation from Apostle 
to Bishop. 

IT is contended, that Timothy was Diocesan Bishop, that is, 
Jlpostle, of Ephesus. But the New Testament shows that Tim- 
othy was notoriously an itinerant, going from field to field, and 
not a stationary officer of any special district. To this, our Epis- 
copal brethren reply that Timothy was a Missionary Bishop, at 
least so long as his journeyings continued. A Missionary 
Bishop! A Missionary Apostle! Does the New Testament 
recognize such a thing as a stationary Apostle the Apostle of a 
single Church or Diocese ? 

Paul says to Timothy, " I besought thee to abide still at Ephe- 
sus." The inference is inevitable : he* was not by his peculiar 
office permanently stationed there. Daille has well remarked ; 
" To beseech a man to abide in a place where his charge assigns 
him to be, and which he cannot forsake without offending God, 
and neglecting his duty, is, to say the truth, not a very civil en- 
treaty ; as it plainly supposes that he has not his duty much at 

There is, however, very plain proof from Scripture, that Tim- 
othy was not Bishop of Ephesus at all. If he ever was so, it 
must have been when the first Epistle of Paul was written to 
him : for the sole argument that he was so, is built upon the as- 
sumption that this Epistle was written to him in capacity of 
Bishop [Apostle] of Ephesus. 

But some time after that Epistle was written, Paul (a little 
before his being sent prisoner to Rome) returns through Macedo- 
nia to Asia, " bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem" (Acts xx.). In 
the 4th verse, it is specially recorded that Timothy was with him. 
Coming to Miletus (v. 17), Paul sends to Ephesus for the elders 
of the Church, and when they are come, he gives them the 
solemn charge recorded in Acts xx. 18-35. In Timothy's pre- 
sence, Paul sends for these elders : Paul charges them. He says 
not a word about Timothy, or any other Diocesan. This is alto- 


? ether unaccountable on the notion that Timothy is their Bishop 
Apostle]. Why does not Timothy send? Why does not 
Timothy charge these elders ? He is their Apostle ! the equal of 
Paul. *Why does not he greet his own Presbyters, from whom 
he has been so long absent ? Why does Paul interfere in his 
brother Apostle's special Diocese ? 

It is so plain that Timothy is not, at this time, their Diocesan 
Bishop, that even Bishop Onderdonk concedes it ; " Ephesus," 
says he (p. 25), " was without a Bishop when Paul addressed 
the elders ; Timothy not having been placed over that Church, 
till some time afterwards." But if Timothy was not at this time 
their Diocesan, he never was. If you turn to 1 Tim. i. 3., you 
will see that Paul left Timothy at Ephesus, when he himself 
went into Macedonia ; and in chap. iii. 14, we learn that Paul 
expected to return. " These things I write, hoping to come unto 
thee shortly : But if I tarry long, &c." And chap. iv. 13, " Till 
I come, give attendance to reading, &c." The evidence is con- 
clusive that the Epistle was written when Paul expected to re- 
turn to Ephesus. But how was it, when, being at Miletus (Acts 
xx.), he sends for the Ephesian Elders and gives them their 
charge ? It is his final charge. " And now behold I know that 
ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, 
shall see my face no more " (Acts xx. 17). " And they all wept 
sore, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of 
all for the words which he spake that they should see his face no 
more." And they did see him no more. He went to Jerusa- 
lem ; was apprehended ; sent as a prisoner to Rome, and died a 

This renders it certain, that his interview with the Ephesian 
Elders recorded in Acts xx. was after the Epistle to Timothy was 
written. But it is both proved and conceded, that at the time of 
that interview with the Ephesian Elders, Timothy was not Bishop 
of Ephesus. The conclusion is inevitable : Timothy never was 
Bishop of Ephesus: and nothing in the Epistle to Timothy can 
bear the slightest possible allusion to the work of a Diocesan 
Bishop. This main prop and pillar of Episcopacy must needs 
tumble to the ground.* 

The search after Diocesan Bishops in Apostolic times, now 

* " Theodoret and Athanasius among the Fathers affirm this early date of the First 
Epistle to Timothy. Baronius, Ludovic, Capellus, Blondel, Hammond, Grotius, 
Lightfoot, Benson, Doddridge, and Michaelis affirm it. Townsend says, " I can ad 
mit no theoretical argument to overthrow what seems to me the unforced deduction 
from Scripture, that the Epistle was written after St. Paul went from Ephesus, and 
left Timothy there when he went into Macedonia." 

i: Episcopalians have been challenged to produce a single passage from the writ- 
ings of the Fathers for the first three centuries, in which Timothy or Titus are 
recognized as Bishops in the prelatical sense ; and the challenge remains unan- 
swered to this day." " Chrysostom acknowledges them to be Evangelists." (Pu- 
seyite Episcopacy, by J. Brown, D.D.) 


comes to a narrow comer of the field. Bishop Onderdonk, the 
modern Goliath of Episcopacy, first bids us look for veritable 
Apostles, other than the Twelve, bearing the Apostolic name ; 
Apostle Andronicus, Apostle Junia, Apostle Epaphroditus ; we 
have looked, and find no Apostles there. He next bids us look 
for Apostles without the name, and independently of any name 
at all ; we have looked, and they are not there. Where now 
shall we look for men bearing the Apostolic office after the death 
of the Twelve ? 

Shall we look for them under the name of Bishops ? No : it 
is conceded that they are not yet to be found under that name. 
Every Church, in city and in country, has its Bishop, who is 
everywhere known by that name ; but he is admitted to be a 
simple pastor, and no successor of the Apostles in their peculiar 

Shall we look for them under the name of Apostles ? There 
is no man, bearing that name, anywhere on the face of the earth. 

Where then, in the name of wonder, are they ? It is passing 
strange that this office, on which the very existence of the Church 
depends, should be known by no distinctive name ! Why, every 
poor pastor, every deacon and deaconess, bears a well known 
official title. Is there none for that first order in the Church ? 
Do they move about, in every province and city, bearing the 
burden and rule of all the Churches, and while Deacons and 
Bishops are every day referred to by name, is there no trace ex- 
tant, upon the whole earth, of any reference to this high order of 
functionaries ? 

O certainly, replies Bishop Onderdonk ; you will find them 
under the name of ANGELS OF THE CHURCHES. Hear him (p. 
262) : " The dignitaries in question were addressed when it was 
somewhat too late to call them Apostles, and too soon to call 
them Bishops ; particularly as the latter word had a different 
meaning in the Scriptures already written. Another designation 
therefore is given them ; they are called angels ; and the kind of 
office is left to be inferred from the powers and distinctions given 
them." " The name Bishop was in transitu from the second or- 
der to the first." 

To this I reply (1.) That there is no proof that the name 
Bishop was undergoing a change. The allegation that it was 
so, is entirely gratuitous and untrue. About A.D. 100 Clemens 
Romanus uses the word Bishop as it is used in the New Testa- 
ment ; to signify the simple Pastor of a congregation. This is 
admitted by Slater (p. 18), who maintains that a different use of 
the word Bishop was first made by Ignatius in the second cen- 
tury. We do not admit that it was made even then ; but the 
proof is complete, that the name Bishop was not now in a pro- 


cess of change, from pastors to those who were formerly called 
Apostles. For the first century of the Christian era, there is no 
evidence that the name, Bishop, meant anything else than it did 
in the days of the Apostles ; and four hundred years passed away 
before any one ventured to assert that those were called Bishops 
who were once called Apostles. 

(2) The supposition is absurd. In the process of a gradual 
change of name, there will be, for a time, an intermingling of the 
old name with the new ; but never in such a gradual change 
was it heard, that for a while it is too early to use the new 
name and too late to use the old ; and that, therefore, a third 
name, distinct from either, is introduced to soften down the pro- 
cess of the change. 

But the case is still worse in the case supposed by Bishop 
Onderdonk. He will have it that the Christian world is studded 
all over with real Apostles, bearing that name. There is Apostle 
Timothy, Apostle Epaphroditus, Apostle Andronicus, Apostle 
Junia, and Apostle who not, besides. While this is so, every 
congregation in every city, village and hamlet, has its pastor, 
who, the world over, is styled a Bishop. Presently, and ere the 
volume of revelation closes, the Apostles are all gone ; all, save 
the last of the Twelve in Patmos. No man anywhere bears the 
name Apostle. It is " too late " to call any man an Apostle ; 
but unfortunately for the argument of Bishop Onderdonk, the 
world is full of Bishops, who are all simple Pastors ; and it is 
too early to call an Apostle by the name of Bishop. 

Now how is this double change effected ? How is it that the 
Apostles everywhere give up their own name, and everywhere 
filch away the names of the Bishops, and yet no trace or frag- 
ment of this double change can be found, in the history of the 
whole world for four hundred years ? If the process of change 
is so universally going on, it must somewhere appear. But it 
does not. Writings are abundant : a trace of almost everything 
else appears in them : but no trace or fragment of such a change 
can anywhere be found. The very life of Episcopacy hangs 
upon the certainty of such a change; but it brings no proof; 
it is obliged to rest upon a baseless, unreasonable, impossible 

(3.) It is alleged that during this process of change, Apostles are 
designated neither as Apostles nor as Bishops, but under the 
style of " Angels of the Churches." If this were so, then "Angels 
of the Churches" would be very common affairs : we should find 
mention made of them at every turn. But the word Angel is in 
no other instance used in this sense in any writing sacred or 
profane. Episcopacy is driven here to find an Apostle in the 
angel of the Church. If an Apostle is not here he is confessedly 


nowhere. He is nowhere called Apostle ; he is nowhere 
called Bishop. It is too late for the one, and too early for the 
other. Episcopacy, therefore, as a last resort, fastens upon the 
angels of the Church. She guesses that they are Diocesan Bish- 
ops, for if not there, where can they be? She guesses, that 
each one of these seven Churches must be a Diocese of several 
congregations ; and that the angel presided over the clergy of the 
several congregations ! It is all guess-work, without a particle 
of proof; but with the acknowledged fact that " angel of the 
Church" nowhere else means a bishop, in all the writings of 
man ! Other people guess that these angels were Presbyters ; 
others again guess that they figuratively represent the whole 
body of the church ; since the Spirit says to one of these angels, 
" Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison." Light- 
foot guesses that the angel of the Church was something answer- 
ing to the Chazan of the Jewish Synagogue, who took care of 
the reading of the law, and who sometimes preached ; but who 
was far enough from being the type of a Diocesan Bishop. If I 
might be allowed to add my guess, I should guess that the 
angel of the Church is no officer at all; but that the use of the 
word is figurative ; one of the images in that highly figura- 
tive book. We have an angel in the sun ; an angel stand- 
ing on the sea and on the earth ; angels coming down with 
chains. I should guess, that the addresses to angels of the 
Churches are only figurative modes of addressing the Churches 
themselves. Indeed, after these messages to the angels, it is 
added, " He -that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit 
saith unto THE CHURCHES." And in making this guess, I do it 
in very good company, for Stillingfleet says (Irenicum, p. 315), 
" Why may not the word Angel be taken only by way of repre- 
sentation of the body itself? either of the whole Church, or, which 
is far more probable, of the consessus or order of Presbyters in 
that Church ? We see what miserably unconcluding arguments 
those are, which are brought for any form of government from 
metaphorical or ambiguous expressions, or names promiscuously 
used, which may be interpreted in different senses ? What cer- 
tainty, then, can any rational man find, what the form of govern- 
ment was in the primitive times, when only those arguments 
are used which may be interpreted in different senses. And 
without such certainty, with what confidence can men speak 
of a divine right to any one particular form ?" 

Here Episcopacy again hangs her whole weight upon what 
Stillingfleet well calls, "a miserably unconcluding argument" 
She has conceded that if her Diocesan Bishops are not, at this 
time, found under the name of angels of the Churches, they are 
not to be found under any name upon the face of the earth. It 


is too late to call them Apostles ; it is too early to call them 
Bishops. It is not pretended that they are at this period called 
anything if not angels. It is certain that they are not so 
called anywhere save in this passage of the book of Revelation ; 
and it is a baseless, unreasonable conjecture to suppose that they 
are so called here. 

After this book of Revelation, it is certain that these high 
functionaries, the successors in the office of the Apostles, are not 
called angels of the Churches. Nor are they called Apostles. 
For a hundred years, the pastors of Churches everywhere 
monopolize the name of Bishops. Where, in the name of 
wonder, are these Diocesan successors of the Apostles ? There 
is no trace of them after the " angels," till more than a century 
afterwards they come out Bishops! A double change of title 
occurs, in two orders of Church officers ; a change involving 
some confusion and mingling of terms ; it occurs in thousands 
of instances, in many languages, all over the world, and no trace, 
no fragment indicative of that change remains ! A body of men 
nowhere alluded to by any distinct name, move noiselessly about, 
bearing on their shoulders the supreme authority of the Churches ; 
till at last they have everywhere filched away the names of the 
second order in the ministry, and no trace or fragment of this 
double change remains. 

But it is said that there is testimony to the fact of such a 
change, though the process of the change cannot be traced. 
" It was after the Apostolical age," says Bishop Onderdonk, 
" that the name Bishop was taken from the second order and ap- 
propriated to the first, as we learn from Theodoret" 

Well, who is Theodoret ? A man who lived in the fifth cen- 
tury ! No hint or trace of such an opinion ever has been cited 
before him. On what authority does Theodoret say this ? Does 
he allude to any record, any memorial, or even any tradition ? 
None at all. It stands on his conjecture, bare and unsupported ; 
an unreasonable and absurd conjecture, about a thing concern- 
ing which all proof is wanting, and that, too, when proof could 
not be wanting, were the thing itself true. Episcopacy thus 
hangs her monstrous claims upon a conjecture unsupported, 
unreasonable and absurd ; and this conjecture of Theodoret 
concerning a matter of which he knows nothing, Episcopacy 
calls his testimony ! TESTIMONY ! about a thing which he 
neither saw nor read of; and which if it had ever taken place, 
must have taken place two or three centuries before he was 
born ! If it did not take place four centuries before he was 
born, Episcopacy is a demonstrable perversion of the institutions 
of Christ and his Apostles. 

Prelacy must needs take the laboring oar here. Let her tell 


when or how this double change occurred. Let her explain how 
it could possibly occur, and no trace or fragment remain to indi- 
cate the process. Let her tell by what name these successors in 
the Apostolic office were known ; or where they lurked, when 
for one hundred years they were neither Apostles, nor Angels, 
nor Bishops ; and how it was possible that this nameless body of 
Prelates could so entirely escape the observation or notice of 
all writers for so long a time. Let Prelacy explain these matters 
to us ; or let her frankly admit that the pretended change never 
occurred, but that ambitious parish Bishops, in favorable situa- 
tions, gradually assumed more and more, till they became Pre- 
lates ; metropolitans grew up by degrees into Archbishops and 
Patriarchs ; till at last, this gradual stealing of power from the 
many to the few, brought forth the Pope ; while Pope, Patriarch, 
Archbishop, and Diocesan, are alike unknown and unauthorized 
in the Word of God. 



WE have now searched clear down through the Scriptures, 
and find not a trace or fragment of Episcopacy. The supposi- 
tion, to which the advocates of the scheme are obliged to resort 
in order to maintain that it had any existence in the first age 
after the Apostles, we have seen to be absurd and impossible. 
Beyond this point, we are bound to receive nothing. We are 
not bound to inquire any further : we are already beyond the 
Apostles and Apostolic times. In all propriety, the argument 
should end here. 

But we will not end here : we are willing to follow the preten- 
sions of Prelacy to her haunts and strongholds, in the deep tan- 
gled wild-wood of the Fathers, and to see what sort of resting- 
place she possesses even there. 

And first, as to the nature of the authority to be allowed to 
the Fathers. We are willing to admit them as witnesses to mat- 
ters of fact existing in their own day, and corning under their 
own observation, so far as any testimony can be ascertained to be 
really theirs, and not a forgery or an interpolation. Secondly, 
when they conjecture merely, as Theodoret does, without refer- 
ring to any record or even to any tradition, we are willing to 
weigh even their conjectures ; especially when they give reasons 
for the same. But thirdly, as authoritative interpreters of Scrip- 
ture, we know them not. It is said indeed, that we must receive 
their opinions and interpretations, or reject the Bible ; but we 
beg leave to dissent from this ; a man may be a good witness 
of the authenticity of a document, when he would make a most 
miserable interpreter of its meaning. And it may be affirmed, 
without any danger of contradiction, that nowhere, among Shak- 
ers, Swedenborgians, or Mormons, can there be found interpre- 
tations more crude, or monstrous, than are everywhere rife in the 
writings of the boasted Fathers. 

And now, let the Fathers advance and give their testimony: 
The first who comes upon the stand is Clemens Romanus. 


He is supposed to be the Clement mentioned by Paul. He 
wrote an Epistle to the Corinthians about A. D. 96. It is the 
earliest and most authentic of all the writings of the Fathers. 
His object in writing, was to conciliate the minds of the Corin- 
thians to their Pastors, some of whom they had rejected from the 
ministry. Throughout his epistle, he calls these ministers Pres- 
byters, and speaks of the people having expelled them ano -n?? 
EnTaxoTtyg from the Episcopate (the office of Bishop). He uses 
the words Pastors and Bishops repeatedly and throughout, as 
synonymous. This, Slater admits ; and the learned Dr. Camp- 
bell says, " No critic ever questioned " it. 

But let Clemens speak for himself. " The Church of God 
which sojourneth at Rome to the Church of God which is at 
Corinth." (Why, this seems not a lordly Diocesan writing to a 
Diocese, but very much like the minister of a congregation 
writing in the name of the people to a sister Church.) But read 
on. " The Apostles have preached to us from the Lord Jesus 
Christ ; Jesus Christ from God. Christ, therefore, was sent by 
God, the Apostles by Christ ; so both were orderly sent accord- 
ing to the will of God. For, having received command, and 
being thoroughly assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and convinced by the Word of God, with the fulness of 
the Holy Spirit, they went abroad publishing that the kingdom 
of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries 
and cities, they appointed the first fruits of their conversions, to 
be Bishops and Deacons over such as should afterward believe, 
having first proved them by the Spirit ; for thus saith the Scrip- 
ture in a certain place, I will appoint their overseers [Bishops] in 
righteousness, and their Deacons in faith." 

Here we have everywhere, in cities and country places, Bish* 
ops and Deacons, in each place or congregation ; and with Cle- 
mens as with Paul, a Bishop is the simple Pastor of a Church. 

Clemens goes on to show how Moses, to prevent all dispute 
about the priesthood, referred the matter to God ; when Aaron's 
rod alone blossomed. " So likewise, our Apostles knew that 
there should contentions arise upon the name of the Bishopric, 
and therefore, having a perfect knowledge of this, they appointed 
persons as we have before said, and gave directions, how, when 
they should die, other and approved men should succeed in their 
ministry; who were either appointed by them, or afterwards 
chosen by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole 
Church. For it would be no small sin in us should we cast off 
these from their Episcopate [Bishopric], who nobly and without 
blame fulfil the duties of it. Blessed are those Presbyters, who 
having finished their course before these times, obtained a per- 
fect and fruitful dissolution. For they have no fear lest any one 


should turn them out of the place which is now appointed for 
them." * * * * " It is a shame, my beloved, yea, a great 
shame, and unworthy your Christian profession, to hear, that the 
most firm and ancient Church of the Corinthians, should by one 
or two persons be led into a sedition against its Presbyters. * 
* * * Do ye, therefore, who first laid the foundations of this 
sedition, submit yourselves to your Presbyters" 
"only let the flock of Christ be in peace with the Presbyters 
that are set over it." 

In this discourse, speaking expressly about the ministry, its 
appointment and succession, Clemens recognizes only two orders, 
Bishops and Deacons ; and he uses the words Bishop and Pres- 
byter as synonymous, meaning the same identical office, as be- 
longing to the same identical "men (just as we have seen the 
words to be uniformly used in the New Testament). 

It is therefore certain, that both at Rome and at Corinth, the 
name Bishop has yet, undergone no change from its original 
signification. The Bishop is still the simple pastor of a Church ; 
Presbyter being used as the title of honor [Elder], and Bishop 
[overseer] being the name of office. 

If there had been a Diocesan over these " Presbyters," whom 
the Corinthians were rejecting from "the Episcopate," how- 
strange that Clemens did not mention him ; how impertinent in 
that case, for Clemens to write at all ! How passing strange that 
Clemens should say so much about these Presbyters coming 
in succession from the Apostles, and forget to say one word 
about their Diocesan, if they had one ! 

Will it be said that their Diocesan is dead ; and that Clemens 
is writing as their provisional Diocesan ? But he writes not as 
Diocesan, or in his own name at all ; it is the Church of Rome 
writing to the Church of Corinth ! 

Ask Clemens, while he is on the stand, whether he ever 
knew the title Bishop to signify an office superior to that of 
Presbyter, i. e., one holding the official rank of Apostle. He is 
silent as the grave : he knows nothing about it. Ask him, if he 
knows of any such things as Angels of Churches, so called, who 
in his day were in reality Apostles. He knows nothing about it. 
Ask him if such an order of men exists, with or without a name, 
whom it is too late to call Apostles, and too early to call Bish- 
ops ; he knows nothing about it, save that " everywhere," in 
cities and in country places, at " Rome and in Corinth," a Bishop 
is, like the New Testament Bishop, the Pastor, or Presbyter 
(Elder) of a Church, i. e., of a congregation of Christians. 

But Prelatists, nevertheless, claim Clemens as proving for them 
three orders instead of two. Let us notice this claim. It will 
serve as a fair specimen of the way in which Prelatical writers 


delude each other, and mislead their people by mistaken inter- 
pretations of the Fathers. Perceval, in his famous book on 
Apostolic succession (p. 54). cites this epistle of Clemens thus : 
" It will behoove us, looking into the depths of divine knowledge, 
to do all things in order, whatsoever our Lord has commanded 
us to do. He has ordained by his supreme will and authority, 
both when and by what persons, they [the sacred services and 
oblations] are performed. For the chief priest has the proper 
services, and to the Priests their proper place is appointed, and 
to the Levites appertain their proper ministries ; and the layman 
is confined within the bounds of what is appointed to lay- 

Perceval cites this with the express design of making those 
who read him, believe that Clemens applies the term Chief 
Priest, Priests, and Levites, to three orders in the Christian 
ministry ; and here he leaves it. He passes entirely by the plain 
testimony of Clemens concerning the identity of Presbyters and 
Bishops ; but he adduces this passage as proof positive of three 
orders, and especially of the Diocesan Bishop. Sure enough, 
people who read Perceval, and who are not aware of his bare- 
faced trickery in this quotation, will naturally conclude that 
Clemens acknowledges three orders in the Christian ministry. 

But Clemens is not speaking here of the Christian ministry 
as existing in three orders : he is drawing an argument for or- 
derly proceeding- among Christians, from the consideration of 
the regard to order observed in the Jewish sacrifices and priest- 
hood: and immediately after the sentence quoted by Perceval, he 
makes the application : " Let every one of you, therefore, bless 
God in his proper station, with a good conscience, and with all 
gravity, not exceeding the rule of his sacrifice, which is appoint- 
ed to him. The daily sacrifices are not offered everywhere, nor 
the peace-offerings, nor the sacrifices appointed for sins, but only 
at Jerusalem." 

Why did not the Hon. and Rev. Mr. Perceval, Chaplain to 
the Queen, tell his readers, like an honest man, that he had 
suppressed the true testimony of Clemens, and made a gross 
perversion of his words, in the quotation which he gave ? that 
he was, in this instance, dealing wholly in false pretences ; and 
that if they understood the words, Chief Priest, Priest and Levite, 
in this passage, to refer to three orders in the Christian minis- 
try, they must also conclude that Christian ministers offered 
daily sacrifices, peace-offerings, and sin-offerings, and that only at 
Jerusalem? And if Perceval was not honest enough to tell the 
truth in this matter, why does the American Protestant Episcopal 
Tract Society still persist in scattering that Tract, on the wings 
of the wind, without one word of correction, and that, so long 


after this piece of arrant fraud has been so clearly and unanswer- 
ably pointed oat by Powell in his work on Apostolical succes- 
sion ?* 

The words of Stillingfleet on the testimony of Clemens Ro- 
manus, are worthy to be repeated ; " They that can find any one 
single Bishop " [Diocesan] at Corinth, at the time when Clemens 
wrote his epistle to them * * " must have better eyes and judg- 
ment than the deservedly admired Grvtius, and he was a great 
friend of Episcopacy, who brings this in his epistle toBignonius, as 
an argument of the undoubted antiquity of that epistle, that Cle- 
ment nowhere mentions the singular authority of Bishops, which 
by Church customs, after the death of Mark, at Alexandria, be- 
gan to be introduced : but Clement clearly shows, as did the 
Apostle Paul, that then by the Common Council of the Presby- 
ters (who both by Paul and Clement are called Bishops) the 
Churches were governed." 

Milner, though an Episcopalian, also admits the force of this 
absolute proof of Clemens. " At first indeed," says he, " and for 
some time, Church governors were only of two ranks, Presbyters 
and Deacons. The Church of Corinth continued long in this 
state, as far as one may learn from Clement's epistle." " And 
Faber says, here we may observe, no more than two orders are 
specified ; the word Bishops being plainly used as equipollent 
to the word Presbyters : and all possibility of misapprehension 
is avoided by the circumstance of Clement's affirmation that the 
appointment of these TWO ORDERS ivas foretold in prophecy. * 

Had the Church, in Clement's time, universally acknow- 
ledged and believed that three distinct orders of clergy had been 
appointed, that Father could never have asserted such a form of 
polity to be foretold in prophecy, which announced the appoint- 
ment of no more than two sorts of officers." 

I trust it is now clear, that in Clement's day, Episcopacy had 
no existence. There was no name for such an officer as a Dio- 
cesan Bishop : no allusion, no fragment bears the least trace of 
his existence. 

Let us next call JUSTIN MARTYR, who suffered A. D. 165. 

*Mr. Chapin, in his work on the Primitive Church, stumbles into this ditch dug 
by Perceval : I cannot for a moment suppose that he knowingly concurs in so gross 
a piece of deception. He quotes (pp. 232 and 244) the same passage as proof from 
Clemens of three orders in the ministry. He passes by and suppresses the real tes- 
timony of Clemens on the matter in question ; and adduces, as testimony, a pas- 
sage not relating to the Christian ministry at all, but only to the Jewish Priesthood. 

There is one piece of acumen, however, which appears to belong exclusively to 
Mr. Chapin. Clemens had said that the Apostles " preaching in cities and coun- 
tries," appointed " everywhere Bishops and Deacons ;" using the terms in the genuine 
New Testament sense. This is too naked. It will indicate that Bishops are still, 
everywhere, Pastors of Churches, with no change in the meaning of the word Bishop. 
>Ir Chapin avoids this by a new translation ; making Clement read, " They ap- 
pointed OVERSEERS and ministers'' (instead of Bishops and Deacons). 


He speaks of two orders in the ministry, and of two only ; 
though expressly treating of the Church, its institutions, its offi- 
cers, and worship. He speaks repeatedly of the (^wecno^) Presi- 
dent of the brethren, and of the Deacons ; describing the Presi- 
dent as leading the congregation in prayer (which by the way 
he describes as extemporary and not liturgical) as setting apart 
the bread and wine, while the deacons distribute the same. It 
is evident that his President is simply the Pastor of a congrega- 
tion : and so far as appears from the writings of Justin, he is 
entirely ignorant of such a thing as a Diocesan Bishop. 

Call the next witness in order: POLYCARP, of a date some 
half century later than Clemens Romanus. Polycarp has been 
familiar with the immediate disciples of our Lord. His epistle 
was in such respect, among Primitive Christians, that it used to 
be read publicly in their churches till the fourth century. "This 
valuable relic," says Coleman (p. 165), " harmonizes in a remark- 
able degree with that of Clement, in recognizing but two orders 
of the clergy." " Polycarp and the Presbyters with him to the 
Church of God dwelling at Philippi" If you turn to the Epistle 
of Paul to the Philippians, you will see that he addresses the 
Bishops and Deacons. Polycarp in like manner mentions but two 
orders, Presbyters and Deacons. Coleman has justly remarked 
(p. 166), that " If there were three orders of clergy at Philippi, the 
omission of one by the Apostle, and another by this Apostolical 
Father, is unaccountable." Polycarp exhorts the Church to be 
subject to the Presbyters and Deacons. He intimates nothing 
concerning any higher officer. The conclusion is inevitable, that 
the words Bishop and Presbyter are still used interchangeably, as 
they were in the days of Paul. 

Here we have Clement and Polycarp, cotemporaries and sur- 
vivors of the Apostles, one at Rome, the other at Smyrna, in dif- 
ferent languages, in portions of the Church widely separated, 
agreeing in making Bishops and Presbyters the same : and 
speaking in such terms as to preclude the supposition that they 
know anything of any higher officer. 

But Prelatists still endeavor to press 'Polycarp as a witness 
for their cause. Can you imagine how it is done ? In a very 
ingenious way indeed. It you turn to Chapin on the Primitive 
Church (pp. 229, 230), you will see how the thing is done. 
He conjectures that the Bishop of Philippi is dead ; as well 
he may be, since (non est inventus) he is not to be found. Upon 
this hook, he hangs another conjecture ; that the Church in Phi- 
lippi in Europe, being a Church without a Bishop, may have 
invited Polycarp of Smyrna in Asia, to exercise a temporary 
and provisional Episcopacy over them. No history shows it : 
Polycarp does not intimate any such thing : no but the exigen- 


cies of Episcopacy require it ; and so by virtue of two good 
broad guesses, as broad as The ^Egean sea, Polycarp is very 
conveniently installed provisional and temporary Bishop of 
Philippi : and that, before the days of steam-ships or magnetic 
telegraphs ! 

If we do not allow this guess-work to be substantial proof of 
the claims of Episcopacy, then we have come down into the 
second century, and nearly through it, and not only has the word 
Bishop undergone no change of meaning such as is pretended ; 
not only is there no name as yet for such a thing as a Diocesan 
Bishop ; but no trace or hint of his existence. On the Episcopal 
scheme the world is studded full of them ; the very life and 
breath of all Church-existence depends upon them ; and yet, some- 
how, they are so very noiseless and shy, that nobody seems to 
know anything about them ; and no footstep or trace is left 
either of their name or of their existence ! No ; nothing but a 
few arrant perversions, and some two or three chains of random 
guesses, is pretended, as yet, to show that Diocesans exist any- 
where upon the face of the earth ! The Apostles, so called, are 
dead. The angels of the Churches are no more. The Bishops 
sit everywhere, each as the -Pastor or Presbyter of his own con- 
gregation ; but the Diocesan, where is he ? 

O yes, it is said ; but hear our next witness and he will tell 
you all about it. Hear IGNATIUS : 

Ignatius! He comes too late by a whole hundred years. 
Ignatius ? I hear bad stories about the writings attributed to 
Ignatius. I hear from Prelatists and Puritans, Papists and Pu- 
seyites, that the greater part of the writings attributed to Ignatius 
bear indubitable marks of forgery ; and that the remainder is so 
full of interpolations, that no one is willing to vouch for a single 
sentence, that it was penned by Ignatius. 

But will you not hear our truly important witness ? Will you 
not hear Ignatius ? Certainly ; we wish to hear him. But first 
tell us yourselves how much this witness is worth. If you turn 
to the last page of the appendix of Chapin's Primitive Church, 
you will find it admitted that there are two versions, or distinct 
copies, of what purports to be the same seven epistles of Ignatius ; 
the one set long, the other set short. One set teaches Arianism, 
the other its opposite. Chapin thinks that we may well guess 
the one which teaches Arianism, to be a forgery ; and that 
the shorter, therefore, must be the true copy. But with regard 
to the epistles in the shorter set, he admits the general conclusion 
of the learned world ; that they are altered and interpolated, with 
no notice given, to inform us what paragraphs, phrases and epi- 
thets, are genuine, or what are spurious. 

Now, how are we to pick out what really belongs to Ignatius ? 


How do you know that it is Ignatius, that you would bring 
upon the stand, or that it is not some lying monk, or some scores 
of lying advocates of Popery, who, in the course of seven centu- 
ries, have here mingled and confounded their forgeries together ? 
Mr. Chapin gives us a very sage rule for getting out of this difficulty. 
He tells us to compare the interpolated and altered copies with 
the forged ones ; and where the dubious witnesses accord with 
the lying ones, he would have us guess that the first probably 
speak the truth ; and this guess he would have us admit as a 
proof for Episcopacy ! . 

Very well ; let us now hear the witness, with the full under- 
standing that we are to guess as we can, where he speaks the 
truth, and where the contrary. And if he proves Episcopacy, we 
will not be so unreasonable as to refuse to admit, that Episcopacy, 
after having come down to the second century and. been found 
wanting, has now some tolerable ground of guess-work, to rest 
upon in the testimony of a witness, concerning whom, nobody 
can tell when he lies, or when he speaks the truth. 

" Obedience to Bishops as the successors of the Apostles," 
says Chapin (p. 213), " is one of the leading topics of Ignatius." 
" In all" [his seven epistles] " a prominent topic is obedience to 
the Bishop." 

" Wherefore, it becomes you," says Ignatius, " to run together 
according to the will of your Bishop." 

" It is your duty, also, not to despise the youth of your Bishop, 
but to yield all reverence to him according to the power of God the 
Father ; as also, I perceive your holy Presbyters do. * * * 
It is, therefore, fitting that we should not only be called Chris- 
tians, but be so ; as some call a Bishop by that name, yet do all 
things without him." * * * "It is, therefore, necessary that 
ye do nothing without your Bishop, even as ye are wont." * 

* * "He that is within the altar is pure. But he is not that 
doeth anything without the Bishop, Presbyters and Deacons. 

" For as many as are of Christ, are with their Bishop. * * 

* I cried whilst I was among you, I spake with a loud voice. 
Give ear to the Bishop, and to the Presbyters, and to the Dea- 
cons. * * * See that ye follow your Bishop as Jesus Christ, 
the Father, and the Presbyters as the Apostles, and reverence 
the Deacons as the command of God." * * " He that honors 
the Bishop shall be honored of God." * * " Hearken unto the 
Bishop, that God may hearken unto you. 

" My soul be security for those who submit to their Bishop, 
Presbyters and Deacons." * * * " Especially if at unity 
with the Bishop, and the Presbyters and Deacons. Give ear to 
the Bishop, and to the Presbtflers, and to the Deacons." * * * 


"He that doeth anything without the Bishop and Presbyters and 
Deacons is not pure in his conscience." 

Such is the amount of the testimony of Ignatius. The writings 
attributed to him, speak unequivocally and repeatedly of Bish- 
ops. Presbyters, and Deacons. 

Upon this I remark, 

1. How easy it would have been for those who confessedly 
interpolated so much in the shortest of these epistles, to have 
added the word Presbyters and Presbytery in these few passages? 
The best critics argue, from the great stress laid upon the digni- 
ty of Bishops, and the extravagant exhortations to obey them as 
God the Father, that these passages were, in all likelihood, dis- 
honestly inserted in after times, to magnify the office of Bishop. 
Others, and many among the deeply learned, do not hesitate to 
declare the whole epistles to be forgeries ; alleging the tone, spirit, 
and style, to be indicative of a later age ; that there are anachro- 
nisms, corruptions, and absurdities enough to stamp the brand 
of forgery upon the whole ; that it is absurd to suppose that 
Ignatius while a prisoner, and in custody of his persecutors on 
his way to martyrdom at Rome, should be allowed leisure and 
means to write these numerous epistles. " And truly," says 
Stillingfleet, " the story of Ignatius (as much as it is defended 
with his epistles) doth not seem to be any the most probable. 
For wherefore should Ignatius of all others be brought to Rome 
to suffer, when the proconsuls, and the Presides Provinciarum 
did everywhere in that time of persecution execute their power 
in punishing Christians at their own tribunal, without sending 
them to Rome to be martyred there ? And how came Ignatius 
to make so many, and such strange excursions, as he did, by the 
story, if the soldiers that were his guard were so cruel to him, 
as he complains they were ? Now all these uncertain and fabu- 
lous narrations as to persons there, arising from want of suffi- 
cient records made at those times, make it more evident how in- 
competent a judge antiquity is, as to the certainty of things done 
in Apostolic times." 

John Milton long ago made this common sense remark con- 
cerning the authority of these writings in this controversy. " To 
what end then should they cite him as authentic for Episcopacy, 
when they cannot know what is authentic in him, but by the 
judgment which they brought with them, and not by any judg- 
ment which they might safely learn from him." (Coleman, p. 

2. When we add to this, the inconsistency of this alleged 
testimony of Ignatius with the testimony of Clemens Romanus, 
and Polycarp, it is rendered the more probable, that if these 
epistles are genuine, their testimony is interpolated, i. e., on the 


supposition that the import of the passages is what it is claimed 
to be. I say on this supposition ; for 

3. Admitting them to be genuine it does not follow that the 
Bishop here spoken of, holds the office of Apostle. He may 
have been of the same order as a Presbyter, and only chosen as 
a special superintendent, as was afterwards done. The testi- 
mony admitted to the full extent of all that is claimed for it, does 
not stretch the proof back over the impassable chasm, which we 
have heretofore seen to exist between the Apostles and the ex- 
istence of Diocesan Bishops. 

4. Nothing goes to show that the term Bishop, as denoting 
an order of office, has as yet changed its meaning ; but positive 
evidence that about this time the word generally meant what it 
did in the days of the Apostles. The testimony, admitting it to 
be genuine, is capable of being explained otherwise than by 
supposing that the name Bishop had changed its meaning. No- 
thing points beyond the arrangement of the Presbyterian Church, 
with its Bishop (Pastor), Elders, and Deacons: There is no 
ground for the conjecture, that the Bishop here spoken of must 
have been a Diocesan, the ruler of several Churches. The 
Churches written to are single congregations ; at Ephesus, at 
Magnesia, at Tralles, at Philadelphia. No reason exists for sup- 
posing these Diocesan Churches. It is conjectured that they are 
Dioceses. It is conjectured that these Bishops are of a different 
order from the Bishops made by the Apostles, and which, up to 
this time, have been found as Pastors of single congregations, 
everywhere all over the Christian world. It. is conjectured that 
these epistles are not forgeries ; and though interpolated, beyond 
the power of man to determine what parts are genuine, it is con- 
jectured that these passages are not interpolations ; and that they 
are not themselves interpolated by the addition of one single word ; 
and so Episcopacy reposes her weight upon the strength of this 
chain of conjectures. It is the best evidence she has ; altogether the 
strongest and best. In a matter where proof would be abundant 
and overwhelming, broad and legible as the sun at noon-day, 
if the monstrous claims of Episcopacy had any foundation in 
truth, she is here compelled to rest upon this scanty and con- 
jectural ground ! The very necessity which drives her to hold 
here is fatal to her cause. 

5. What finally renders all these Prelatical conjectures of no 
value, is that if admitted they prove too much, and overthrow 
the point which Episcopacy wishes to prove by Ignatius. The 
point to be proved is, that Diocesan Bishops are the successors 
in the office of the Apostles. If Ignatius proves not that point, 
he proves nothing at all. But if we admit his testimony, it ex- 
pressly proves that Bishops do not succeed the Apostles, but are 


the vicegerents of God the Father, while Presbyters are the suc- 
cessors of the Apostles. Unfortunately Ignatius himself, or 
whoever forged or interpolated his epistles, lived too early for 
the more recent Episcopal theory that Bishops are successors 
of the Apostles. Recall Ignatius and ask him. Speak, Ignatius ; 
are your Bishops in reality Apostles ; successors in the office of 
those who originally bore the name ? He speaks ; " Yield all 
reverence to your Bishop according to God the Father." Well, 
that is rather dubious ; can you not speak a little plainer, Igna- 
tius, and tell us how it is ? " See that ye follow your Bishop 
as Jesus Christ the Father, and the PRESBYTERS as the APOS- 

O now we understand you, Ignatius ; you afford no counte- 
nance to the more recent basis of the Episcopal claims. But 
speak again, Ignatius ; tell us over and over again : do you 
agree with modem Prelatists, in making your Bishops successors 
of the Apostles, or do you not ? He speaks, " Let all reverence 
the Deacons as Jesus Christ ; and%ie Bishop as the Father; and 
the Presbyters as the Sanhedrim of God, the college of the Apos- 
tles." And again : " Without your Bishop you should do no- 
thing ; also be ye subject to your Presbyters as to the Apostles 
of Jesus Christ." 

It is a clear case, that whoever wrote these epistles, he was ig- 
norant of the claims of Bishops to be successors of the Apostles ; 
since he pertinaciously persists in putting Presbyters in the place 
of Apostles, and in making the Bishops vicegerents of God. 
The Ignatian epistles, however spurious or interpolated, were 
written before that figment was laid down as the basis of the 
Episcopal claims. 

We have now brought the matter down to the middle of the 
second century, and found neither Diocesan Bishop nor official 
successor of the Apostles. But let us pass on. 

Irenceus, who died about A. D. 202, speaking of Marcion and 
other heretics, says ; " When we refer them to the Apostolic tra- 
dition which is preserved in the Churches through the succession 
of their Presbyters, these men oppose the tradition, pretending 
that being more wise than not only the Presbyters, but the Apos- 
tles themselves, they have found uncorrupted truth." Soon af- 
ter, he styles these Presbyters, Bishops. u We can enumerate," 
he continues, " those who were constituted by the Apostles, 
Bishops and their successors even down to our time." Again he 
calls Poly carp "Bishop of the Church of Smyrna," and afterwards 
calls him that " Holy and Apostolical Presbyter" You will re- 
cognize still the Scriptural identity of Bishop and Presbyter. 

Again he says, " the Apostles founding and instructing the 
Church (of Rome) delivered to Linus the Episcopate. Anacle- 


tus succeeded him : after him Clement obtained the Episcopate 
from the Apostles :" he proceeds to enumerate in order, " Eva- 
ristus, Alexander, Sixtus, Hygnus, Pius, Anicetus, and Eluthe- 
rus in the twelfth place." 

Here, say the Prelatists, you find the succession of Bishops : 
and accordingly the names of this succession are paraded in all 
the tables of Episcopal genealogies. But softly : This same Ire- 
naeus writing against Victor, Bishop of the Roman Church, says, 
" Those Presbyters before 43oter, who governed the Church which 
thou Victor now governest : I mean Anicetus, Pius, Hygnus, 
Telesiphoms, and Sixtus; did they not observe it? And those 
Presbyters who preceded you, did they not observe it ? And when 
the blessed Polycarp, in the days of Anicetus, came to Rome, did 
he not persuade Anicetus to observe it ? as he (Anicetus) declar- 
ed that the custom of the Presbyters, who were his predecessors, 
should be retained?" 

Irenaeus uses the words Presbyter and Bishop as synony- 
mous. The very Bishops set down in the list of the Episcopal 
succession, he styles Presbyters. 

By this time, one appointed by the Presbyters of large 
Churches to be their moderator, began to rise gradually above 
his brethren ; but not yet so far as to be recognized as of a differ- 
ent order. Accordingly we find Clemens of Alexandria, in the 
beginning of the third century, speaking of Bishops, Presbyters, 
and Deacons. "Numerous other precepts," says he, "directed 
to select characters, some to Presbyters, some to Bishops, some 
to Deacons, and others to widows, &c." Here the name Bishop 
begins to be used distinctly from the name Presbyter ; but it does 
not yet begin to signify a different order ; for Clemens repeatedly 
shows, that as yet there are properly but two orders in the minis- 
try. Having observed that, in most things, there are two sorts 
of ministry, the one of a nobler nature than the other which is 
subservient ; and having illustrated this distinction by several 
other examples, he says : " Just so in the Church, the Presby- 
ters are entrusted with the dignified ministry ; the Deacons, with 
the subordinate." He speaks of a nQoxudedma O r first seat in 
the Presbytery.* From all which, as Coleman has well observed, 
" the obvious inference is, that the Bishop of this author is only the 
xQMecnus of early writers the Presiding Elder of the Presbyte- 
ry." " Henceforth, the title of ngueaTug is seldom used in the 
Fathers, but instead of that, the word Bishop constantly occurs/' 

Yet even after this time, the word Presbyter is used by Cle- 
mens of Alexandria, interchangeably with Bishop. Thus, he 
relates how John, struck with the appearance of a young man, 
committed him to the Bishop that presided over all; and the 

* Coleman, p. 173. 


Presbyter (the Bishop) taking this young man, nourished, edu- 
cated, and lost him. John, on his return, addressed that Presby- 
ter with the style " O Bishop /" If John called him Bishop, he 
must needs have been a Bible Bishop, and identical with a 

Here, then, we find the rise of Prelacy, in the beginning of the 
third century. A Presbyter, first appointed as a standing mode- 
rator by the Presbyters of large Churches, grew up gradually 
into power, till finally he usurped not only the power, but the 
name. We trace the identity of Presbyters and Bishops up to 
the middle of the second century : and it is not pretended that 
there is anywhere a higher officer, of any other name. 

But now, lest it should be thought that these conclusions de- 
pend too much upon the deductions of argument, and not suffi- 
ciently upon testimony, let us call a witness who shall substan- 
tiate these facts by his clear and undeniable testimony. Let 
JEROME come forward and tell what he knows of this matter. 

Jerome died A. D. 426. Erasmus styles him " by far the most 
learned and most eloquent of all the Christians, and the prince 
of Christian Divines" (Coleman, p. 182). In his Commentary 
on Titus, Jerome says, " A Presbyter, therefore, is the same as a 
Bishop. And before there were, by the devil's instigation, parties 
in religion, and it was said among the people, I am of Paul, I 
am of Apollos, and I of Cephas, the Churches were governed by 
the Common Council of the Presbyters. But afterwards * * 
it was determined in the whole world, that one chosen from 
among the Presbyters should be put over the rest." 

He proves the identity of Presbyters and Bishops by the 
Epistle of Paul to the Philippians " Paul and Timotheus to all 
the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi with the Bishops 
and Deacons" " Philippi," says Jerome, " is a single city of 
Macedonia ; and certainly in one city, there could not be several 
Bishops as they are now styled : but as they at that time called 
the very same persons Bishops whom they called Presbyters, the 
Aposlle has spoken without distinction, of Bishops and Presby- 
ters." He proves the same from the address of Paul to the El- 
ders of the Church of Ephesus : " Take particular notice," says 
he, " that calling the Presbyters of the single city of Ephesus, 
he afterwards names the same persons Bishops" " Our inten- 
tion," says he, " is to show that among the ancients, Presbyters 
and Bishops were the very same. But by little and little, that 
the plants of dissension might be plucked up, the whole concern 
was devolved upon an individual. As the Presbyters, therefore, 
know that they are subjected by the custom of the Church to 
him who is set over them, so let the Bishops know that they are 


greater than Presbyters, more by custom, than by any real ap- 
pointment of Christ." 

Prelatists claim from Jerome's accommodating the language 
of Scripture, " when one said I am of Paul, I am of Apollos," 
&c., that he means to affirm that Diocesans were first created 
upon the dissensions in the Church of Corinth. But Stilling- 
fleet has well replied that this is impossible, since the proofs 
which Jerome adduces of the identity of Bishops and Presbyters 
are all of a later date than that epistle to the Corinthians. It is 
absurd to suppose that he meant to fix the rise of Prelacy at the 
time of the dissensions in Corinth, and yet bring all his proofs 
of the parity of Bishops and Presbyters from records of later 

Besides, Jerome says that the distinction grew up " by little 
and little." He denies that a Bishop is superior to a Presbyter 
by divine appointment, or by any other right than a custom of the 
Church which grew up by little and little. Stillingfleet has well 
remarked, that if Episcopacy had first been instituted at Corinth 
on the occasion of the dissensions mentioned by Paul, then, of 
all places, we should expect to find a Diocesan at Corinth. But 
when Clemens Romanus writes to the Corinthians, he finds fault 
with their turning their Presbyters out of the Episcopate. He 
knows absolutely nothing of any Diocesan over these Presbyters. 

The testimony of Jerome stands absolute and unequivocal, 
that Bishops and Presbyters were originally the same ; that in 
ancient times the Churches were governed by the common coun- 
cil of the Presbyters; but that afterwards Episcopacy grew up 
" by little and little" from Presbyters elected to preside over the 
rest ; and that the superiority of Bishops over Presbyters is not 
by any real appointment of Christ, but by the custom of the 
Church. And he appeals to Bishops and Presbyters that they 
both know it to be so. 

But it is alleged that Jerome contradicts himself and main- 
tains the superiority of Bishops over Presbyters. That you may 
have this objection in full force. I will here copy the passages as 
they are referred to in Chapin's Primitive Church (p. 200), with 
his capitals and italics, to set forth the important points with due 

u The Epistle to Evangelum, if it be genuine, which some doubt, 
was written on hearing that some one had given Deacons preference to 
Presbyters, as though they were of a superior order." Upon this he 
says, " I hear that one was so impudent as to rank Deacons before 
Presbyters, that is Bishops. Now the Apostle plainly declares the same 
to be Presbyters, who are also Bishops." And after mentioning some of the 
duties of Deacons and Presbyters, he proceeds to quote Phil. u 1 ; Acts 
xx. 17 ; Titus ii. 5-7 ; 1 Tim. iii. 8, in proof of the position he had 
before laid down, when he adds : 


{< Who are significantly called in the Greek Episcopountes, from whence 
the name of Episcopi (Bishops) is derived." He then quotes from one 
CAIUS, a Presbyter, who says : " In the See of Alexandria, from St. 
Mark the Evangelist to Heracleus and Dionysius, Bishops, thePresbyters 
always elected one from among themselves, and raising him to a higher 
rank, they called him Bishop ; much as an army chooses an Emperor, 
or as Deacons elect one from among themselves, and call him Archdea- 
con. Indeed, what can a Bishop do, that a Presbyter may not do, EX- 
CEPT ORDINATION ?" Then after saying that the same practice existed 
in all places, he adds, " Wherever the Bishop be, whether at Rome or 
Engubium, or Constantinople, or Rhegium, or Alexandria, or Tanais, he 
is of the same degree, and of the same priesthood, FOR ALL ARE SUCCESSORS 
OF THE APOSTLES." And after some remarks concerning the Roman 
custom, he adds ; " Let them know wherefore Deacons were establish- 
ed ; let them read the Acts of the Apostles, and remember their condi- 
tion. Presbyter is a title of age ; Bishop of office. Wherefore [in the 
Epistles] to Timothy and Titus, is mention made of the ordination of 
Bishops and Deacons, but not of Presbyters, because in the Bishop 
the Presbyter is contained. We are advanced from the less to the 
greater ; if, therefore, the Deacon is ordained from among the Presby- 
ters, then is the Presbyter least ; but if the Presbyter is ordained from 
among Deacons, then is the Presbyter of a higher order of the priest- 
hood. And we know from Apostolical Tradition, taken from the Old 
Testament, that what Aaron and his sons and the Lemtes have been in the 
Temple, the same the Bishops, and the Presbyters, and the Deacons may 
claim as their own in the Church?'' 

By the help of italics and capitals, Mr. Chapin, and other advo- 
cates of Prelacy, here make out something plausible to the EYE 
of a careless reader, while the impression, so made, is false to the 
sense. If the cursory reader casts his eye over the passage so 
garnished, what will he find ? " What can a Bishop do that a 
Presbyter may not, EXCEPT ORDINATION ?" " Wherever the 
Bishop be he is of the same degree FOR ALL ARE SUCCESSORS 
CONTAINED." " What Aaron and his sons and the Lemtes have 
been in the Temple, the same the Bishops, and the Presbyters, and 
the Deacons, may claim as their own in the Church" 

This array is set forth constantly, by the advocates of Prelacy, 
to show that Bishops are divinely superior to Presbyters ; that 
Bishops may of divine right ordain, while Presbyters may not ; 
and that Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, correspond to Aaron, his 
sons, and the Levites. 

Let us sift this testimony. Jerome begins with saying, "I 
hear that one was so impudent as to rank Deacons before Pres- 

How does he prove that they are not so ? By asserting the 
identity of Presbyters with Bishops : Now the Apostle plainly 
declares the same to be Presbi/ters, who are also Bishops," and he 


refers to the passages commonly cited, to show the absolute iden- 
tity of the two. That is, Deacons cannot be superior to Presby- 
ters, because Presbyters are not only equal to Bishops, but iden- 
tical with them. 

This is the proof. Will Jerome stultify himself in pressing 
the proof further, by proceeding to show that Presbyters are not 
equal to Bishops? He certainly does not. He quotes one 
Caius, to substantiate, not to deny what he has affirmed ; viz., that 
Presbyters are, by divine right, identical with Bishops. "What 
is the proof from Caius ? "Why this : that in Alexandria, the 
Presbyters elected one of themselves to hold a higher authority. 
That could not make him of a higher order. By divine right, 
and appointment, he was still a Presbyter, though. by the elec- 
tion of his brethren, he was made their presiding' officer, or mode- 
rator ; "Just," says Caius " as Deacons elect one from 
among themselves and make him an Arch-deacon ;" yet he is 
but a Deacon in order ; he holds no divine order above that of 
simple Deacon : but is in this respect a simple Deacon still. 

What further proof from Caius ? Why, that even at this day, 
Presbyters are so identical with Bishops, that there is nothing 
that a Bishop may do, which a Presbyter may not, except ordi- 
nation. Here is no divine right alleged, but for the sake of or- 
der, and by the election and appointment of his brethren, as 
Jerome has already affirmed he has at this day, that pre-emi- 
nence assigned to him. 

What further proof? Why this: that what this Bishop, so 
elected by his brethren at Alexandria, is, that all Bishops are, 
whether at Rome, Engubium, or anywhere else ; one is as 
much a successor of the Apostles as another ; Presbyters are, by 
divine right, everywhere equal with Bishops. 

What further proof? Why this ; that Paul, writing to Timo- 
thy and Titus, speaks of ordaining Bishops, but nothing of 
Presbyters, for the simple reason, that in the Bishop the Presby- 
ter is contained ; and the Bishops mentioned by Paul to Timo- 
thy and Titus are on all hands admitted to be simple Presbyters. 
Our author wishes to show in this place, that the higher order of 
Bishop embraces the inferior order of Presbyter, while Jerome's 
argument, and the proof which he cites from Paul's Epistle to 
Timothy and Titus, show that the Bishop and Presbyter referred 
to, are absolutely identical. 

But what concerning Aaron and his sons, and the Levites, as 
answering to Bishop, Priest, Deacon ? Does Jerome, after build- 
ing his argument entirely upon the identity of Bishops and Pres- 
byters, now, at the very close of it, turn round and deny that same 
identity ? By no means. The answer of Stillingfleet is con- 
clusive on this point ; " For the comparison runs not between 


Aaron and his sons under the law, and Bishops and Presbyters 
under the Gospel; bat between Aaron and his sons as one part 
of the comparison under the law, and the Levites under the 
other" (i. e., not between High-Priest and Priests, but embra- 
cing both together as Priests and making Levites inferior). " So 
under the Gospel, Bishops and Presbyters make one part of the 
comparison, answering to Aaron and his sons in that wherein 
they all agree, viz. the order of the Priesthood ; and the other 
part under the Gospel answering to the Levites under the 
law." (Irenicum, p. 293.) 

In an evil hour for Episcopacy, she fastened upon this pas- 
sage to make Jerome contradict himself, by a seeming acknow- 
ledgment of a divine right of Bishops above Presbyters. His 
whole argument begins and ends with 'the affirmation, and the 
proof that Bishops and Presbyters are, by divine appointment, 
one and the same. Instead of a contradiction, it is as strong a 
corroboration of Jerome's previous testimony as can well be 
given ; that by divine appointment Bishops and Presbyters are 
the same ; that in primitive times they were identical ; that 
Bishops grew up into a superior order by little and little, from a 
human appointment as moderators ; and that this both Bishops 
and Presbyters of his day know to be true. 

We have now done with the Fathers. Their testimony 
sweeps the claims of Prelacy away as with the besom of destruc- 
tion. Adducing their real testimony, which Perceval and other 
Prelatists are so careful to suppress, and clearing away the per- 
versions of those parts of the testimony of the Fathers, which the 
advocates of Prelacy adduce ; the evidence stands forth clear, 
consistent, and uniform, affording no manner of support to the 
Episcopal claims ; but making it certain, that the entire fabric of 
Prelacy grew up by gradual ursurpations, and is as baseless of 
all divine authority, or of primitive institution, as the domination 
of the Pope or the false prophet.* 

* The learned Stillingfleet comes to this conclusion with regard to the testimony of 
the Fathers. " For as to the matter itself," says he (p. 301, Irenicum} " I believe upon 
the strictest inquiry Medina's judgment will prove true : that Hicrom, Austin, Jlm- 
brose, Sedulius, Piimasius, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, were all of Aerius's 
judgment, as to the identity both of the names, and ORDER OF BISHOPS and Pres- 

Churchmen are fond of saying that Stillingfleet afterwards changed his mind. 
After proving by matters of fad the novelty and idle claims of Prelacy, he did, in- 
deed, afterwards, become a Bishop and a bitter enemy to all dissenters from the 
Church of England. Bishop Burnet says of him. that, " To avoid the imputation 
that book b'. ought on him, he went into the humors of a his;h sort of people, beyond 
what became him, perhaps beyond his own sense of things." The arguments of his 
Irenicum against the divine right of Episcopacy, were, however, such matters of 
fact, that he was unable ever to renounce them, or set them aside. "The book," 
says Bishop White, " was, it seems, easier retracted than refuted, for though offensive 
to many of both parties, it was managed with so much learning and skill, that none 
of either side ever undertook to answer it." 



High Priests. Priests and Levites. Three Orders. The Apostolic Com- 
mission. Claims of Diocesans to be Vicegerents of Jesus Christ. 

IT is alleged that the three orders, Bishop, Priest and Dea- 
con, come in the place of the three orders, High Priest, Priest 
and Levite. 

This is mere fancy ; the Bible gives no intimation of any such 
thing. Bishops coming in the place of the Jewish High Priests! 
When was such a claim made by the Apostles ? Where is 
there the faintest intimation of such a thing in the Word of 

If this fancy were true, and if the argument drawn from it had 
any weight, then it would go, not for the claims of the Bishop, 
but for the supremacy of the Pope ; since, from the nature of the 
case, there could be but one High Priest in the world. 

But the fancied resemblance fails. There is no correspon- 
dence between the functions of the Jewish Priesthood, and those 
of the Christian ministry. Every priest must have somewhat to 
offer ; the Christian ministry cannot be a priesthood, since the 
offerings and sacrifices of the Jewish law were but types of the 
priesthood and sacrifice of Christ. The substance being come, 
the shadows pass away ; there is no more any Priest, or altar, 
or sacrifice, since Christ, by one offering of himself, hath for 
ever perfected them that are sanctified by him. 

The High Priest entering within the vail to make atonement 
for sin, was a type of Christ entering into the holiest place of the 
true tabernacle, obtaining eternal redemption for us. For any 
man, therefore, to claim to come in the place of the Jewish High 
Priest is a deep injury to the sole priesthood of Christ. 

The claims of Episcopacy, on this ground, are worse than sim- 
ple error ; they are injurious to Christ, and subversive of the entire 
truth of the Gospel. They should never be tolerated for a mo- 
ment, but met with the most pointed and indignant rebuke. 

But we hear the advocates of Prelacy harping still upon the 
mystic number THREE. It is said that there were three orders 


under the Mosaic dispensation, three orders in the time of Christ ; 
and therefore, three orders in the Christian ministry to the end 
of time. 

This, too, is fanciful. Tt is true there were three orders of of- 
fices under the Jewish dispensation ; but that dispensation was 
of temporary use and arrangement. The Abrahamic Church 
was long with no order at all. Why not take the analogy from 
this, rather than from a priesthood not pertaining to the covenant, 
and which was designed to vanish away ? 

But how were there three orders in Christ's time ? It is al- 
leged that Christ was one, the Apostles another, and the seventy 
a third. 

But the seventy were no Church officers at all. Their work 
was special and soon completed. 

It is alleged that the Deacons succeeded these. But the work 
of the seventy was to go throughout the villages and preach pre- 
paratory to Christ's personal visits ; the Deacons were permanent 
officers in each Church, to see to its secular affairs. The Bible 
gives no intimation that they, in any way, take the place of the 
seventy ; and there is no resemblance between the functions of 
the two classes of men. It is therefore not true, that Deacons 
came in the place of the seventy : and not true that the seventy 
were any order of Church officers at all. 

If our Lord is one order in the ministry, then who succeeds 
him in that order ? Our' Lord is one ; sole head over the whole 
Church. He has no peer nor equal. If the Church constitutes 
one, he can have but one successor. This argument, also, makes 
not for the Bishops, but for the Pope. If our Lord was ihe first 
order, then the Apostles were the second ; and Bishops claiming 
to succeed the Apostles, must still look to an order above them ; 
and that an order consisting of one. 

But it is alleged, that when Christ departed, the Apostles were 
raised one degree from second to first: that the seventy were 
raised to the station which Apostles previously held, and Deacons 
created in place of the seventy. This is all fancy, and contra- 
dictory to fact. The Apostles were not ordained again to a 
higher order : the seventy, instead of being advanced to higher 
dignity, are absolutely mentioned no more; and in no sense did 
Deacons come in the place of the seventy. This is all an awk- 
ward and cumbrous piece of machinery, invented for the special 
service of Prelacy. And yet, when Doctors of Divinity put on 
their robes, and talk gravely about High Priest, Priests and Le- 
vites; Christ, the Twelve, the seventy; Bishops, Priests, and 
Deacons : Three orders : how many people do not stop to ex- 
amine, but receive it, as if it were not what it is in reality 


among the grossest absurdities that have ever been attempted to 
be palmed off under the name of truth or argument! 

But it is alleged that the Apostolical Commission transferred 
the sovereignty of the Church from Christ to the Apostles ; which 
sovereignty devolves (through the Apostles) upon the modern 
Bishops, and that thus the Bishops come into the place of Christ. 

The first passage adduced in proof of this monstrous claim is, 
that in Luke xxii. 29-30. " And I appoint unto you a kingdom, 
as my Father hath appointed me; that ye may eat and drink at 
my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the Twelve 
tribes of Israel. This, says Chapin (Primitive Church, p. 165), 
" Is tantamount to saying, I MAKE OVER, OR APPOINT TO YOU" AS 
and the reason given is, in order that they might be able to eat 
and drink at that table which he had spread ; that is, might have 
power and authority to consecrate and set apart the elements of 
bread and wine, so that they should become sacramentally his 
body and blood, as he himself had declared them to be." Cha- 
pin reiterates this doctrine (p. 173), insisting that Christ "made 
over or committed, as by devise or bequest, THE KINGDOM which 
the Father had appointed, or committed to him ; in order that 
they might SIT ON THRONES (the emblems of power), judging 
(in a judicial sense} the twelve tribes (or persons composing the 
commonwealth) of Israel, which, in the New Testament, signi- 
fies THE CHURCH." This is indeed a monstrous claim, now 
made by Diocesan Bishops, which, formerly, nobody had the au- 
dacity to make, save the Pope, KINGS over the kingdom, given to 
Christ by the Father ! KINGS [sovereigns] of the Church ! (Lords 
over God's heritage!) and vicegerents of Jesus Christ! Christ 
is no longer king: He has abdicated -made an assignment 
vacated the throne, and " made over " to the Bishops " THE 
KINGDOM which he has received from the Father." Can the hor- 
rid impieties of Popery go to a greater length of extravagance 
and madness, than the claim which is here made for Diocesan 
Bishops? It is assumed that " kingdom " here means the Church ; 
and that sitting at his table, means power and authority to conse- 
crate the elements in the Lord's supper, to make them sacramen- 
tally his body and blood."* 

* Hence Chapin argues that as power to consecrate must be derived from tl 
Bishop, it is not lawful to celebrate the sacrament of the Lord's supper without the 
Bishop's consent (p. 165). He quotes, as a document of instruction and evidence, 
an old Liturgy which represents the consecration as "filling the bread with the Holy 
Ghost^ In his Tract, showing the sinfulness of Episcopalians taking the sacra- 
ment from other hands, or of uniting with other denominations in their public wor- 
ship, he claims that the consecration makes the bread " not only a sign, but also a 
MEANS whereby grace is given-" imparting the most precious body and blood of 
our Lord Jesus Christ to worthy partakers, and " making them one with Christ," 
" filling them with heavenly benediction, so that their sinful bodies are made clean 


What mountains of consequences may be made to depend 
upon a little false interpretation of Scripture ! If you turn to 
the passage in question, you will perceive that there is no trans- 
ferring of Christ's kingly power, and no allusion to the sacra- 
ment of the Lord's supper contained in it at all. Let us read 
the whole passage : Luke, xxii. 2430. 

u And there was also a strife among them which of them should be 
accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gen- 
tiles exercise lordship over them ; and they that exercise authority upon 
tht'tn are called benefactors, But ye shall not be so ; but he that is 
greatest among you, let him be as the younger ; and he that is chief, as 
he that doth serve ; for whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or 
he that serveth 1 is not he that sitteth at meat 1 but I am among you as 
he that serveth I ye are they which have continued with me in my 
temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my father hath 
appointed unto me ; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my king- 
dom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." 

Now, what transfer of kingly power is here ? The disciples, 
thinking about a splendid earthly kingdom, such as they sup- 
posed the Messiah would set up, disputed who should be the 
greatest. The Saviour first rebukes their ambition. Their 
highest greatness is to be as servants. " Ye are they which have 
continued with me in my temptations;" as if he had said ; you 
want to be great in my kingdom; well, you have witnessed my 
temptations ; you have seen me a man of sorrows arid acquainted 
will) grief; you have seen me destitute, afflicted, persecuted, 
having not where to lay my head. Such a kingdom I appoint 
you. " I appoint unto you a kingdom as my Father hath ap- 
pointed me," i. e., glory indeed hereafter, but in the present life 
tribulations. Observe he does not say THE kingdom V/HICH rny 
Father hath appointed me; he makes no transfer of his kingly 
power ; he says I appoint unto you " a kingdom, as my Father 
hath appointed me ;" a kingdom of sorrows and humiliation. 
You are disputing who shall be the greatest, in what, you sup- 
pose, shall be my earthly kingdom. Well, you have been with 
me in my temptations, my trials, my sorrows; and just such a 
kingdom I appoint unto you; tnat ye may eat and drink at my 
table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve 
tribes of Israel.* 

by his body," and "their souls washed through his most precious blood;" that 
none but Episcopal ministers have this power to consecrate ; hence he concludes 
that the bread given at other tables, is not the food that " our Father hath provided 
for MS." What extravagance of Puseyism goes beyond this? And this is Connec- 
ticut Episcopacy ! 

* Rosenm tiller says on the passage. " The sense is, As my father hath appointed 
me a kingdom to be acquired by endurance of adcersities so I appoint unto you a 
glory like unto royal majesty, to be acquired in a similar way" That is to say, the 
kingdom promised to the Apostles is not the majesty which was promised to Christ 
but, from the connection, the reward of labor undergone. 


Oh, what a rebuke to their ambition ! And out of this rebuke, 
this sorrowful declaration of the persecution arid tribulation to be 
endured by his disciples in this world. Episcopacy derives a trans- 
fer of Christ's kingly power and sovereignty, to the order of 
Bishops ; and exclusive Letters Patent for consecrating the 
elements of the Lord's Supper, to make them sacramenlally the 
body and blood of Christ, and the EFFICIENT MEANS OF CONFER- 

Another passage relied on as conferring Prelatical authority is 
THAT IN MATT, xxviii. 19, 20, " Go ye therefore and teach all 
nations ; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost ; teaching them to observe all things 
whatsoever I have commanded you. And lo I am with you 
always, even to the end of the world." 

From this it is argued : 1. That this direction is addressed, 
and the promise given exclusively to the Apostles in that capaci- 
ty ; and that 2. As Christ is to be with the Apostles, as such, to 
the end of the world, so the Apostolic office is always to subsist; 
and that the line of personal successors in this office is always to 
run infallible and indefectible. 

Does the commission contain any such powers or promise ? 

1. It is assumed that this commission gives the sole right of 
ordaining- and ruling : but not one word of ordaining or of ruling 
is contained in the passage. It is a commission of preaching, 
teaching, and baptizing, which any ordinary minister may do. 
How then can it be a commission conferring exclusive Prelatical 
powers, when not one word is said of anything which Prelacy 
claims as peculiar to itself? 

2. It is claimed as a commission and a promise exclusively to 
Prelates. If it were so, then Prelates alone must go and preach 
the Gospel to the heathen. Instead of staying at home to ordain 
and confirm, and Lord it over God's heritage, as our modern 
Diocesans do, every soul of them should go to the heathen ; and 
nobody else should go, since, as it is claimed, the commission is 

3. The promise is not of a personal succession, that their line 
shall be indefectible in ordaining and ruling, but to them who 
GO, and PREACH. Those who do not go and preach i. e., who 
do not go to propagate the Gospel abroad cannot exclusively 
claim this promise. To which one of our Diocesans, then, does 
the promise appertain ? How preposterous to argue from this 
promise, that Christ has been with all the infidel, obscene, and 
murderous Alexanders and Borgias, who have ever worn a 
mitre, so that the possession of a Prelate who derives his 
authority through their hands is a mark of the true Church ! 
But has not Christ been with his missionaries and minis- 


ters (even though they were not Prelates), wherever and 
whenever they have been found preaching in obedience to his 
command ? Has not Christ been with the Baptist missionaries 
in Burmah ? with the Congregational missionaries in the Sand- 
wich Islands ? with the Moravians in Greenland ? with Elliot, 
the Mayhews, and with Brainerd among the Indians ? Are the 
fruits of the Divine influences of the Spirit all limited to Episco- 
pacy ? It is true, as the famous Puseyite Dr. Hook said of this 
country, that " here you may see the Church " (meaning the 
Episcopal Church) " like an Oasis in the desert, blessed by the 
dews of heaven, and shedding her heavenly blessing around 
her in a land, where, if it were not for her, nothing but the ex- 
tremes of infidelity or fanaticism would prevail ?" And Bishop 
Brownell has seen fit to reiterate this sentiment, charging his 
clergy with reference to other denominations, that " surrounded 
by all this desolation^ the Protestant Episcopal Church in this 
country, appears as an oasis in the desert." But is it so ? Is 
there nothing but the extremes of infidelity and fanaticism in 
this country, out of the pale of the Episcopal Church ? Do the 
dews from heaven descend exclusively upon the Episcopal 
Church ? Are their preachers and missionaries the only ones 
with whom Christ goes ? Alas ! what madness of arrogance is 
this ! What insulting superciliousness, towards all others who 
bear the Christian name ! 

Another passage is relied on for these exclusive claims of Pre- 
lacy. It is that contained in John xx. 21, 25, " As my Father 
has sent me even so send I you," &c. This " EVEN so," Cha- 
pin argues largely, in his " Primitive Church," to be descriptive 
of the POWERS granted in the Apostolic commission ; the Bish- 
ops, in this respect, taking the place of Christ, in the authority 
which he received from the Father ; and that this sentence con- 
fers upon the Bishops, Christ's regal and priestly power ; his 
kingdom ; and his authority to absolve the sins of repenting sin- 
ners ! 

It appears very strange to me, how any man can possibly 
imagine that this passage is a transfer of Christ's kingdom and 
priestly authority ! To me it seems a simple sending forth of 
laborers to a self-denying work ; to call men to repentance, and 
to invite them to salvation. So Christ was sent to toil and to 
die ; so he sends his Apostles ; "even so," not to die as he died, 
an atoning sacrifice for sin; but to spend and be spent for the 
salvation of dying sinners. And out of this simple sending 
forth as servants and laborers, Prelacy claims a transfer to lordly 
Bishops, of the kingdom, and priestly prerogatives of the Lord 
Jesus Christ! Was there ever a more monstrous or inexcusable 
perversion of the words of Holy Writ ? Was there ever a more 


unscriptural or horrid idea than this fundamental basis of Pre- 
lacy ; the demission and transfer of Christ's priesthood and 
kingdom, to earthly representatives and vicegerents ; a demission 
and transfer of prerogatives which he has reserved for himself 
for ever, and the glory of which he will not give to another ! 

And yet how unblushingly these claims are put forth ; and put 
forth with scarce a rebuke ; with increasing complacency on the 
part of Prelates, and with increasing belief on the part of their 
people ; may be seen by some extracts from a production of Mr. 
McCoskry, the present Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Michi- 
gan.* In his sermon, " Episcopal Bishops, successors of the 
Apostles," he says, " He (Christ) is the head and permanent 
ruler thereof; and although now removed from sight, and seated 
on his mediatorial throne, yet he governs and regulates this 
Church, or kingdom (as it is frequently called), by his constituted 
agents, to whom he has committed THE VERY SAME .AUTHORITY 
could be possessed by a mere human being, was given by the 
Saviour." " He was, as the Apostle declares, the head of the 
body" "consequently this headship was TRANSFERRED, and all 
the power necessary to preserve and regulate the body." 
" It must follow then, that as Christ is the permanent Ruler and 
Head of this body now in Heaven, 50 are those to whom he 
transferred this power permanent rulers and heads on earth." * 
* " The Apostles were raised to the very same office which 
Christ himself held, I mean that which belongs to him in his hu- 
man nature, as head and governor of the Church. They were 
to supply his place in this respect, and in short, to do 

everything which Christ would have done had he continued on the 
earth." " They received the full power which Christ possessed, 
so long as the Saviour exercised the OFFICE OF HIGH PRIEST, 
and before he TRANSFERRED it to the Apostles, &c." 
" It cannot be supposed for one moment, that the Saviour would 
transfer so great an office as he himself had received from the 
Father, without giving instructions, * * whether it could 

be transferred to others." And this "VERY SAME OFFICE WHICH 
CHRIST HIMSELF HELD," Bishop McCoskry claims, has been 
TRANSFERRED and TRANSMITTED down to the Bishops of the 
present day! And if this has not been done, he declares, that 
" all who profess to be commissioned as ambassadors of Christ, 
are gross impostors !" 

Surely, the Bishop of Michigan must sufficiently magnify his 

office. He claims to have received the kingdom of the Church in 

Michigan! holding the very same office that Christ would hold, 

were he on earth; with authority to do all that Christ in his hu- 

* In Boardman, p. 274. 


man nature might do, as head of the Church in that peninsula, 
were he there in person ! Surely, if we may borrow an epithet 
of the old Puritans, we have an abundance of ; ' POPF.LINGS " in 
our American Dioceses, each speaking " high swelling words," 
but scarcely in all one decent POPE. How can it be that Christ 
can have so many supreme VICEGERENTS, holding each supreme 
authority over the one Catholic Church? How can it be that 
there are so many Heads over one single body ? 

I see that many of the details of Popery are wanting in this 
system; but the' very heart, and frame work, and life-blood of 
Popery are all here.* Let these principles prevail ; let them have 

* The following extract will show the progress which Protestant Episcopacy 
is making towards Popery in the Diocese of New York. It is from a funeral ser- 
mon, on the death of Rev. Palmer Dyer, late of Whitehall, preached in Trinity 
Church, Granville, N. Y., by Rev. John Mien Spooner, A. M., Rector of the Church 
of Messiah, Glenn's Falls, and of Zion's Church, Sandy Hill, N. Y. The extract is 
copied from the ' Protestant Churchman." 

" He was Baptized. The record and proof of that his CONVERSION is in the 
Church book at Granville, N. Y. At the sacred. fount there his sins were washed 
away, and he was regenerated." 

"He was Confirmed. There is left us no doubt as to his ' receiving the Holy 
Ghost.' That gift was imparted to him in the Church, by 'the laying on of the 
hands ' of Bishop Brownell ; and the record of it exists. Our ground of humble 
and scriptural joy is thus enlarged. Union with the mind of God was thus rendered 
more sure by the possession of the Holy Spirit to enlighten and guide. The heart 
before cleansed in Baptism, now made the Tenement of the Holy Ghost in the lesser 
Sacram nt of Confirmation, had double certainty of improvement." 

" Hence, when after mature reading he was led to the belief that among Chris- 
tians no Baptism had ever been considered unquestionably safe except it were given 
by a Bishop or by one ordained by a Bishop,, he at once ceased to rely on any other, 
and not only taught so, but set a consistent example by first getting himself rightly 
baptized in the Church. Hence, too, he was a second time confirmed, because he 
felt that confirmation came rightly only after Baptism, and not till his Baptism in 
the Church did he consider himself as baptized at all. And hence, in the awaken- 
ing to sound truth and early practice which the spirit of God has mercifully grant- 
ed to part of Christendom in the last twelve years, he thoroughly sympathized ; 
thankful if instead of one accurate and energetic minded Ftoude to one kingdom, God 
had kindly %ivcn many to each ; if. instead of one blameless Pitsey to be ignorantly and 
unrighteously condemned, God had kindly given more than impugners could frame de- 
crees to silence." 

u As a final ground of consolation and the crowning and necessary mark of saint- 
ship, we notice in the deceased, that he continued and worthily, in the communion of 
the (*/turch. He knew that out of the fold there could be no expected safely : that out of the 
ark there could be nothing but the common distraction." 

" Nay. if good hope exists for any one. it must be drawn from such deeds and ex- 
hibited conduct as could not be well brought together in the last hours of a few 
painful days, or in the distracted exercises of a last few weeks. Yea, whosoever 
will have himself and leave for his friends the Bible ground of hope, will have it and 
leave it to the portraiture following." 

' Bible ground of hope requires of a person that he be Confirmed. Without the 
gift of the Holy Spirit, that which is required to precede all others, is imparted by 
the 'laying on of hands.' And in all cases, that in the laying on of the hands of 
the chief Minister, the Bishop, as an act distinct from Baptism and succeeding to it" 

' We would have placed before this the existence of habitual private Confession 
and Absolution. Our judgment dictated to do that in drawing out the case of our 
departe i brother: but our section of Christendom has lost that portion of the Chris- 
tian's heritage. Yet, as we doubt not that the intervention of the Priesthood is indis- 
pensable to a scriptural tranquillity of the conscience so do we believe that no positive 


room, and air, and time, to expand to their natural growth, and 
there is nothing in Popery more destructive to truth, to freedom, 
and to true religion, more arrogant, more impious toward God, 
or more injurious to man. 

and undoubting ground of hope can ordinarily exist, either in an individual for him- 
self or in others for him, exeept that up to the last there have been, as in the case 
of Hooker (page 7), habitual confession and free and full absolution and benedic- 

" It is the absolution and benediction of the Church, for which God looks in the individual 
to determine that he is in favor. It is to the Ministry that God says : ; Whatsoever ye 
shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven ; and whatsoever ye shall loose on 
earth shall be loosed in heaven.' St. Matt, xviii. 18. Separated, then, from the 
Church we see no ordinary Bible hope of heaven. Otherwhere than in the Church, 
and with that Ministry which God appointed, the individual is not ' loosed from 
sin.' " 

"Habitual religiousness demands frequency in the stated forms and acts, of piety, 
Among those forms, the restored elevation of the cross, and habitual and devout cross- 
ing of the person, should be distinguished. In our poverty, we cannot, it is true, wit- 
ness the consecrated Church at the end of every second league; but if we would, 
we might at such intervals behold the Cross, towards which the traveller might turn, and 
near which the wayfarer might kneel. And devout crossings of the person, while in every 
emergency and in every act vie might not by word place ourselves in Christ, by this sacred 
symbol we should. Crossing ourselves in the beginning of a duty and at its end, as when 
toe rise from our prayer ; crossing ourselves at the appearance of danger, or in each hourly 
act, we thereby invoke the power of Christ and place ourselves with him : and so, from every 
section could one go to his death from almost within the shadow of the cross, and 
in any emergency close his eyes in the embrace of the Lord. To such an one no 
death could be a surprise." 

" Again, among those acts of piety that should be frequent, and that, next to the 
holy Communion, are of chiefest efficacy in making the soul ripe for even an un- 
warned death, are, habitual private confession, and the Pastor's absolution and the 
Pastor's blessing. Inflicted Penance is the loving correction that maketh great; 
the Pastors absolution and the Pastor's frequent blessing are the purest and richest 
gifts through Christ on this side of heaven to fit to live, to fit to die, and to insure 
the best destiny of eternity. Frequency in the stated forms and acts of piety is 
necessary to habitual religiousness." 



THE Bishop's charge in Primitive times was a single Church, 
not a Diocese of Churches. Like our Congregational, Presby- 
terian, and Baptist Churches, every congregation had its Bishop, 
and every Bishop his congregation. For a long time these 
Bishoprics were about as numerous in Christian countries, as 
Congregational Churches in New England. The parish and 
the Bishopric were coextensive and identical. Instead of one 
Bishop in a territory, like that of Connecticut, there were scores, 
if not hundreds. There were no Diocesans over these congrega- 
tions and their Bishops ; each Bishop was what the Apostles 
made him and left him, the Pastor of a single Church. If any 
one will see the proof of this, let him read Lord King, on the 
Primitive Church ; a work which Slater has vainly attempted to 
set aside. Let him read Mosheim, or the lectures of Dr. Camp- 
bell, or the recent works of our own Punchard and Colernan. 
The length to which these lectures have already been protracted, 
admonishes me that I ought not to enter upon the details of this 
part of the subject: nor is it, indeed, necessary. Let me simply 
quote the conclusions of Archbishop Whately on this subject ; 
conclusions of whose correctness the amplest proof is at hand. 

" Each Bishop" says Whately, " originally presided over one 
entire Church. It seems plainly to have been the general, if not 
the universal practice of the Apostles, to appoint over EACH SEPA- 
RATE CHURCH, a single individual." * "A Church and a 
Diocese seem to have been for a considerable time co-extensive 
and identical" " And each Church or Diocese perfectly inde- 
pendent as regards any power of control." " The plan pursued 
by the Apostles seems to have been, as above remarked, to es- 
tablish a GREAT NUMBER of SMALL (in comparison with modern 
erned BY ITS OWN SINGLE BISHOP, consulting no doubt with his 
Presbyters, and accustomed to act in concurrence with them, and 
occasionally conferring with the brethren in other Churches." 



Whatehj (like Stillingfleet) renounces all pretensions 1o a di- 
vine authority for Episcopacy. He denies that modern Episco- 
pacy conforms to the Primitive model; and justifies it only on 
the ground that the Church has power to alter and arrange its 
own polity, without being limited and restricted to one particular 
form. " And they " [the English Reformers], he says, " rest the 
claims of ministers, not on some supposed sacramental virtue 
transmitted from hand to hand, in unbroken succession from the 
Apostles, in a chain of which, if any one link be even doubtful, 
a distressing uncertainty is thrown over all Christian ordinances, 
sacraments, and Church privileges ; but on the fact of those being 
the regularly appointed officers of a regular Christian communi- 
ty ;" and that regular Christian community, he regards as " a 
congregation of faithful men," " having inherent rights belong- 
ing to a community ;" to declare what is the regular way of ap- 
pointing their officers (pp. 123-125). " The Church of England," 
he maintains, "it is notorious," "does not possess exact confor- 
mity ' ; to the most ancient models. And he adds " To vindi- 
cate them on the ground of the exact conformity, which it is noto- 
rious they do not possess, to the most ancient models, and even 
to go beyond this, and condemn all other Christians, whose insti- 
tutions and ordainers are not utterly like our own on the ground 
of their departure from the Apostolical precedents, does seem 
to use no harsher expression not a little inconsistent and un- 
reasonable." " And yet, one may not unfrequently hear num- 
bers of Episcopalians pronouncing severe condemnation on those 
of other communities, and even excluding them from the Chris- 
tian body: not on the ground of their not being under the best 
form of government, but of their wanting the very essentials 
even of a Christian Church ; * * and this while Episcopa- 
lians have universally so far varied from the Apostolical institu- 
tions, as to have in one Church several Bishops, each of whom, 
consequently, differs in the office he holds, in a most important 
point, from one of the Primitive Bishops, as much as one of the 
governors of our colonies differs from a sovereign prince." 

Had not this work been already so long protracted, it would 
afford an interesting and important topic of inquiry, to trace 
in history the simultaneous growths of prelatical assumption 
and superstition, as side by side, faithful and inseparable co- 
adjutors, they strode on to an undivided dominion over the un- 
derstanding, the conscience, and the liberties of mankind. No 
sooner was the figment of the Christian ministry a priesthood 
invented, than the path to despotism over the conscience, and to 
the subversion of the fundamental doctrines of the Gospel, lay 
open without obstruction. Ambitious Prelates were sure to ex- 
alt their ghostly power, and to grasp an entire monopoly of con- 


ferring that power in ordination. Forms, canons, sacerdotal 
rites, absolutions, penances, false doctrine after false doctrine, 
and one superstitious ceremonial after another, followed in the 
train, till the Gospel and all religious liberty well nigh expired 


but a mingling of the same old elements in the same old way. 
Superstition goes hand in hand with every advance of the exclu- 
sive and monstrous claims of Prelacy. He who forms his anti- 
cipations of the future from the history of the past, will readily 
perceive, that these two conspirators against truth and freedom 
are only travelling the road which they travelled before, when 
corruption in doctrine and usurpation of power went hand in 
hand to take their seat upon the seven hills of Rome. 
With these remarks we proceed to notice 


The Rev. Mr. Wetmore, one of the earliest champions of 
Episcopacy in Connecticut, did not hesitate to say of the Congre- 
gational Churches in this State that " they must necessarily be 
esteemed abettors and approvers of schism, disorders^ and usurpa- 
tion; contempt of the chief authority Christ has left in his 
Church;" and that "whatever they may call themselves, and 
whatever show they may make of piety and devotion in their 
own ways," they " ought to be esteemed in respect to the mys- 
tical body of Christ, only as excrescences or tumors in the body 
natural, or perhapis as fungosities in an ulcerated tumor, the eat- 
ing away of which, by whatever means, tends not to the hurt but 
the soundness of the body." 

If such language had been uttered only by a few, or only for 
some hundreds of times ; if it were not truly descriptive of the 
principles, and the line of conduct pursued by all High Church 
Episcopalians, with regard to other denominations of Christians, 
we might pass it by as the raving of bigots ; some of whom are 
to be found in all bodies of Christians, and whose extravagances 
are not to be regarded as an index to the principles and spirit of 
the body. But I am sorry to be obliged to say, that this is only 
a sample of the spirit and bearing assumed by Episcopal Eccle- 
siastics in general (with some few rare and honorable exceptions), 
towards all other Christians, save only the followers of the Pope, 
" Incongruous sects" of " Dissenters" is the style adopted by 
Bishop Brownell with regard to all other Christian denomina- 
tions. The Episcopal Church he styles "The true Catholic 
Church." The Episcopal Bishops, in general, no longer style 
their communion " The Protestant Episcopal Church," but " The 
Church ;" intending by that term to deny the right of all other 


bodies of Christians to be considered as Churches. The Right 
Rev. Thomas C. Brownell writes himself Bishop, not of the 
Episcopal Church IN Connecticut, but " BISHOP OF CONNECTI- 
CUT," intending thereby to claim, and actually claiming, exclusive 
sovereignty by divine right over all Christians in the whole field. 
So another styles himself not bishop of a diocese of Episcopa- 
lians IN New York, but BISHOP OF NEW YORK ; a sovereign by 
divine right of the whole territory. Another claims to be BISHOP 
OF MARYLAND ; and another has been addressed in a Dedication, 
by the celebrated Pusey as " GEORGE, LORD BISHOP OF NEW 
JERSEY ;" and " Lord George" claims to be the rightful and ex- 
clusive Apostle of that domain ; as another claims to hold the 
" VERY SAME OFFICE," in Michigan, " which the Lord Jesus 
Christ" would hold over Christians in that field, were he person- 
ally to come down and undertake to be their ruler. The 
" Church Almanac," published by authority, talks not of The 
Protestant Episcopal Church IN America^ but of " THE CHURCH 
OF THE UNITED STATES," intending thereby to deny that there 
is, or t?an be, any other Church or Churches in the whole do- 
main. Not long since, an Episcopal minister (Rev. Mr. Watson) 
spoke in a printed sermon, of the people in the sixty towns in 
Connecticut where Episcopacy is not planted, as " destitute ones" 
" destitute of the sacraments, destitute of a Scriptural ministry, 
destitute of the Church ;" and declared that " every inch of the 
ground" belongs to Episcopacy. Bishop Brownell looks abroad 
over the tens of thousands of Christians and Churches of all 
Protestant denominations in this land ; and complacently styles 
them a " Desolation," in the midst of which, " The Protestant 
Episcopal Church appears as an oasis in a desert." The Bishop 
and his Presbyters concur in admitting the authenticity of the 
Papal Church and Priesthood, while they deny the same to all 
Protestants, save of their own Church. A " Presbyter of Con- 
necticut," in an extensively circulated tract, declares he " cannot 
regard the confused mass of Protestantism as anything else but a 
human contrivance, the weakness and folly of man ; the result 
of departing from the divine and primitive institution of Christ." 
" With as much propriety," he declares, " might we suppose 
there is more than one Holy Spirit, as to suppose that there is 
more than one Church" " The Romish Church," he says, " must 
be regarded as a portion of the Catholic Church, since she pos- 
sesses the Apostolic ministry ; her sacraments, though vitiated, 
are not invalid." Bat "as to Protestant Dissenters, how can they 
claim to be a portion of the true body of Christ, when they lack the 
very foundations of a Church ?" " At the same time," he says, 
" we are free to acknowledge that they exhibit fruits of piety in 
their lives. We could take example from them," * * * we 


doubt not they may be saved ; * * so we believe the heathen 
may be saved." In the same manner Palmer, whose work is 
in the highest vogue among Episcopalians, says of other denomi- 
nations, " They and their generations are as the heathen, * * 
we are not warranted in affirming absolutely that they may be 
saved." Bishop Hobart, in his " Companion to the Altar," says, 
" Let it be thy supreme care, O my soul, to receive the blessed 
sacrament of the body and blood of the Saviour, only from the 
hands of those who derive their authority by regular transmis- 
sion from Christ." " Where the Gospel is proclaimed, com- 
munion with the Church by participation of its ordinances at 
the hands of an authorized priesthood is the indispensable condi- 
tion of salvation" " Great is the guilt, and eminent the danger of 
those who, possessing the means of arriving at the knowledge of 
the truth, negligently or wilfully continue in a state of separa- 
tion from the authorized ministry of the Church, and participate 
in ordinances administered by an irregular and invalid authority." 
Says Bishop Onderdonk of New York, " None but the Bishops 
can unite us to the Father in the way of Christ's appointment ; 
and these Bishops must be such as receive their mission from the 
first commissioned Apostles." Other Episcopal writers of stand- 
ard authority in that Church use such language as this : " The 
only ministrations to which the Lord has promised his presence, 
are those of the Bishops who are successors of the first commis- 
sioned Apostles." " The real ground of our authority is our 
Apostolic descent." " An uninterrupted series of valid ordina- 
tions has carried down the Apostolical succession to the present 

" Christ," say the Oxford Tracts, " never appointed two ways 
to Heaven ; nor did he build a Church to save some, and make 
another institution to save other men. There is no other name 
given under Heaven among men whereby we may be saved, but 
the name of Jesus ; and that is no otherwise given under Hea- 
ven than in the Church" " It is not merely because Episcopacy 
is a better, or more scriptural form than Presbyterianism, * * 
* but because the Presbyterian ministers have assumed a power 
which was never entrusted to them. They have presumed to 
exercise the power of ordination, and to perpetuate a succession 
of ministers, without having received a commission to do so.' ; 
" A person not commissioned from the Bishop may use the 
words of baptism, and sprinkle or bathe ;" * * " he may 
break bread and pour out wine, and pretend to give the Lord's 
Supper, but it can afford no comfort to any to receive it at his 
hands, because there is no warrant from Christ, to lead commu- 
nicants to suppose, that while he does so here upon earth, they 
will be partakers of the Saviour's heavenly body and blood." 


" As for the person himself, who takes upon himself without 
warrant to minister in holy things, he is all the while treading in 
the footsteps of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, whose awful pun- 
ishment you read of in the book of Numbers." 

A work entitled " A Doctrinal Catechism of the Church of 
England," has the following questions and answers: 

" Who appoints dissenting teachers 1 

" Ans. They either wickedly appoint each other, or are not appoint- 
ed at all ; and so in either case their assuming the office is very wicked. 

" But are not dissenting teachers thought to be very good men ? 

" Ans. They are often thought to be such, and so were Korah, 
Dathan, and Abiram, till God showed them to be very wicked. 

" But may we not hear them preach 1. 

" JIns. No ; for God says, depart from the tents of these wicked 

Says the author of a sermon recently published at New York : 
" She [ihe Church] must administer to you according to the 
record of her own testimony." " Within these prescribed 

boundaries, her power is absolute over you, so long as you re- 
main in her communion, which you cannot renounce, excepting 
at the peril of your salvation." 

The Rev. Palmer Dyer, of Whitehall, N. Y., says, " No reli- 
gious society or communion, of whatever denomination or char- 
acter, is a Church, unless it be Episcopal." " We cannot be 
brought into the Holy Covenant, except in an Episcopal Church ; 
or by the agency of an Episcopal ministry." " Those who pro- 
fess to be ministers of the Gospel without having received Epis- 
copal ordination, possess no more ministerial authority than any 
private Christian." " Their supposed commission is a nullity ;" 
" it involves the guilt of schism and rebellion." " Those who 
separate from the Episcopal Church, reviling and opposing it, 
and connecting themselves with Anti-Episcopal sects, are in fact 
fighting against God." " We can have no fellowship with non- 
Episcopal sects, nor ever pretend to receive Christian sacraments 
from them ; they have no real sacraments to give." 

I have not excerpted here and there the mere slips of a few un- 
guarded writers, but have taken passages which express guard- 
edly and designedly the very claims which, in all sobriety, our 
Episcopal neighbors designedly and unwaveringly assert. These 
are but common specimens of the common phraseology and 
spirit in which those claims are advanced at the present day. 
This is the actual attitude and bearing of the Episcopal Church 
in this country, towards all other denominations and their minis- 
try. The Prelates and their clergy who admit anything incon- 
sistent with these claims are few and far between. 




That principle, I affirm, to be the fundamental principle of 
Popery ; a principle inconsistent with the essential truth of the 
Gospel, and tending to its entire corruption and subversion. 

The principle, the fundamental idea, on which these excessive 
claims of Episcopacy are built, is that of regarding the Christian 
ministry as a PRIESTHOOD, to work by virtue of a ghostly power 
conferred in ordination, a priestly intervention between God and 
man for the forgiveness of sins ; in opposition to the doctrine of 
salvation by FAITH ALONE. 

This ghostly power is affirmed to have been committed to the 
Apostles, and by them to have been transmitted exclusively to 
their successors in office, the Diocesan Bishops. This is the 
ground on which it is claimed, that there can be no Church with- 
out a Bishop. 

Take the following illustration of the nature and spirit and 
foundation of this claim. In one of the cities of Connecticut is 
a venerable Congregational minister whose labors God has 
owned and blessed for more than a quarter of a century. By his 
side is a stripling in a surplice, renowned chiefly for a Eulo- 
gy on Archbishop Laud, and more recently for a work main- 
taining that the difference between Episcopacy and the popular 
system of religion in New England, is not one of non-essentials 
of Christianity, but one affecting "the very nature and being of 
the faith ;" in which work he intimates the scriptural authority 
for bowing' whenever the name of Jesus occurs in the Liturgy, 
for requiring stated vigils and fasts by authority of the Church ; 
for using the sign of the cross ; for saints' days, the tonsure, and 
for the oil of Chrism. 

That venerable Congregational minister is now regarded as a 
Dissenter, a schismatic, a rebel, a son of Korah ; while that sur- 
pliced stripling is a true minister of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

I inquire for the specific difference between the two. What 
does the one possess which the other has not? I am told, that 
when the former preaches, the Gospel from his lips conveys no 
assurance of salvation to them who repent and believe ; that his 
preaching is unauthorized and invalid ; and that the same is 
true of his baptisms, and his administrations of the Lord's Sup- 
per ; that his people are all out of the pale of covenanted mercy, 
and if saved at all, they are not to be saved on Gospel grounds 
or promises, but by mere uncovenanted mercy, like the heathen ; 
and that for these reasons every tyro of a Deacon in the Episco- 
pal Church is authorized, and by canon enjoined, to treat that 
venerable minister as an interloper and an impostor ; and utterly 


forbidden to treat or regard him as a true minister of our Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

I ask why is this? What has that stripling, which this vene- 
rable minister has not ; the possession of which causes this amaz- 
ing difference in the validity of their acts ? I am told that it is 
this : A certain Bishop has had on his head the hands of a man, 
who has had on his head the hands of another, and he of another 
man, and so on clear back to the Apostles ; that through this 
chain of conductors a virtue has flowed; which that Bishop has 
communicated to that stripling by laying his hands on his 

Absurd and ridiculous as this statement appears, it is not only 
the grave doctrine of Episcopacy, but the very foundation of all 
its monstrous claims. 

Having already traced the foundation of this doctrine in the 
Judicious Hooker, the next author whom I shall quote is Law, 
who became famous in the celebrated Bangorian controversy 
in the reign of George I. Many suppose that Puseyism is a 
" Novelty" in the Episcopal Church, and so Bishop Hopkins 
affects to treat it.* You have seen it to be the dominant doc- 
trine of Episcopacy in the days of Elizabeth. You have seen 
it ripening and symbolizing still more closely with Popery, under 
Archbishop Laud. It became rampant once more in the High 
Church days of Queen Anne ; and the specimen which I shall 
now give you is taken from the days of the First King George. 
The trait here furnished is not indeed an incident in the history 
of High Church Episcopacy; it runs throughout constituting 
the very life-blood of its existence. 

The Work of Law was written on this wise : Hoadley, Bishop 
of Bangor, in preaching before King George I. asserted the su- 
preme authority of Christ, as king in his own kingdom ; denying 
that he had delegated his power to any deputies or vicegerents. 
He afterwards published his " Preservatives," in which he under- 
took to oppose what he considered the fundamental principles of 
temporal and spiritual despotism. In one word, you will per- 
ceive that the tenets which he opposed, were the same as those 
of the modern Puseyism. 

Law became the Church champion against Hoadley ; and his 
work is of the highest authority among all Episcopalians of the 
present day. 

Hoadley had said, in opposition to the notion of ghostly 
power claimed by the priesthood, that " to expect the grace of 
God from any hands but his own, is to affront Him :" * * * 
" Human benedictions, and human excommunications, have no- 
thing to do with the favor of God." 

* " Novelties which disturb our peace." 


Upon this, Law replies, " It is evident from the maxim (for 
your Lordship asserts it as such), that whatever institutions are 
observed in any human society, upon this supposition, that there- 
by GRACE is CONFERRED by human hands, or by the ministry of the 
clergy ought to be condemned ; and are condemned by your 
Lordship." Upon this he makes a home thrust at Bishop Hoad- 
ley, from the offices of the Church under which the Bishop was 
ordained ; the office of ordination containing the words " Re- 
ceive the Holy Ghost? and pretending to confer the Holy Ghost 
in the ceremonial of ordination. " The Bishop, says Law, 
" laying his hands on the person's head, saith, receive the Holy 
Ghost for the office work of a priest." " From this," says Law, 
" it is plain (1.) that the reception of the Holy Ghost is necessary to 
constitute a Christian priest : (2.) that the Holy Ghost is conferred 
through human hands. If, therefore, your Lordship is right in 
your doctrine, the Church of England is evidently most corrupt. 
For if it be dishonorable and affronting to God >to expect his 
grace from human hands, it must of necessity be dishonorable 
and affronting to God, for a Bishop to pretend to confer it by his 

" Suppose," says he, " your Lordship was to have been conse- 
crated to the office of Bishop by these words : " Take thou power 
to sustain all things in being, given thee by my hands : I suppose 
your Lordship would think it entirely unlawful to submit to the 
terms of such an ordination. But, my Lord, receive, the Holy 
Ghost, is as impious a form according to your Lordship's doc- 
trine, and equally injurious to the Eternal power and Godhead 
as the other." 

Law proceeds : " Suppose your Lordship had been preaching 
to the Laity against the authority of the Virgin Mary, and yet 
should acquiesce in the condition of being made a Bishop in her 
name, and by recognizing her power : could such a submission 
be consistent with sincerity? Here you forbid the laity to ex- 
pect God's grace from any hands but his; yet not only acce